Next on the list of factors that cause infertility are Compounds found in plastic and chemical lotion.
A novel study has established a link between phthalates, the ubiquitous compounds used to make plastics more flexible and cosmetic lotions smooth, and decreased fertility levels in men.
In order to find a link between the two, the Federal researchers studied the impact of everyday chemicals on fertility in 501 couples trying to have children for four years.
The researchers found that while both male and female participants who wore cosmetics often had higher levels of phthalates in their bodies, surprisingly the male partners’ phthalate levels were correlated with infertility.
More precisely, men were more likely to be affected by chemicals and face fertility problems.
“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 study.
The research team found that specifically phthalates, the compounds that are used in hundreds of consumer products, was the main culprit.
Phthalates belong to a group of industrial chemicals known as endocrine disruptors. They are used to soften vinyl plastics and are used in food packaging; and are common components of fragrances in lotions, air fresheners, perfumes, body washes, hair care products, detergents and cleaning products.
These compounds are also used in color cosmetics to hold color and scents.
Several earlier studies have also suggested a link between phthalate exposure and sperm damage in men. Apart from affecting the production of testosterone, exposure to the phthalates is also known to cause several other medical problems, including birth defects, cancers and diabetes.
The latest findings were published in February in Fertility and Sterility.
Edited by Neelam Goswami on 31-03-2014.
- infertility in men
- Men's Health Corner