(NaturalNews) High blood levels of common chemicals found in everything from cookware to clothing can significantly increase women’s risk of infertility, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California and published in the journal Human Reproduction.
“This is an important finding and certainly warrants further detailed research, particularly in those trying for a family,” said Tony Rutherford, chair of the British Fertility Society. “This study emphasizes the importance of remaining vigilant to potential environmental factors that may impact on fertility.”
Researchers tested the blood of 1,240 Danish women for levels of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Both chemicals are in the family known as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). All study participants had become pregnant between the years of 1996 and 2002. Those with the highest blood levels of PFCs, however, were one and a half times more likely to have needed fertility treatments or more than a year of trying before becoming pregnant.
PFCs are common industrial chemicals used in applications such as nonstick cookware (such as Teflon), waterproof clothing (including Gore-Tex brand), food packaging, upholstery and pesticides. For many years, scientists insisted that the chemicals were “biologically inactive,” study co-author Chunyuan Fei noted.
“But recently animal studies have shown that these chemicals may have a variety of toxic effects on the liver, immune system and developmental and reproductive organs,” Fei said. “Very few human studies have been done, but one of our earlier studies showed that PFOA, although not PFOS, may impair the growth of babies in the womb, and another two epidemiological studies linked PFOA and PFOS to impaired fetal growth.”
Some studies have also found a connection between PFCs in the blood and increased cancer risk.
The researchers could not determine exactly how PFCs might boost the risk of infertility, but they speculated that the chemicals might tamper with levels of female sex hormones in the body.
Sources for this story include: www.telegraph.co.uk.