Are these products we use daily making men infertile? The NY Times investigates.
Many couples find themselves unable to have children the old fashion way, without assistance from fertility clinics or high priced fertility procedures. Scientists have known about phthalates which are used in everyday plastics and other products we use regularly.
Many of these products leach phthalates into the bloodstream which is highly correlated with the numbers of people who are found to be infertile. These substances have an effect on the endocrine system, which governs hormones in the body.
These chemicals can have numerous side effects including birth defects, hormonal imbalances as well as other health problems such as certain cancers and diabetes. Read the article here
A Threat to Male FertilityBy DEBORAH BLUM To study the impact of everyday chemicals on fertility, federal researchers recently spent four years tracking 501 couples as they tried to have children. One of the findings stood out: while both men and women were exposed to known toxic chemicals, men seemed much more likely to suffer fertility problems as a result.
The gender gap was particularly wide when it came to phthalates, those ubiquitous compounds used to make plastics more flexible and cosmetic lotions slide on more smoothly. Women who wore cosmetics often had higher levels of phthalates in their bodies, as measured by urinalysis. But only in their male partners were phthalate levels correlated with infertility.
“It’s the males in the study that are driving the effect,” said Germaine Buck Louis, an epidemiologist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and lead author of the report, published in February in Fertility and Sterility. “They’re the signal.”