The researchers measured the level of 31 common industrial chemicals in the blood of 60 women and found women with higher levels of the chemicals in their blood samples also had little left. aged eggs left in their ovaries.
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birth rates are reduces all over the world. In all European countries they are falling to the bottom population replacement level, focusing on the number of children needed per woman to maintain a stable population.
While these reductions may be due to many adults intentionally delaying when they have their first child – or actively choosing not to have children – a increasing number of studies proposed it does not fully explain the decline in birth rates. Some research has also shown that decreased fertility is a major factor in its decline.
One factor associated with reduced birth weight is the presence of industrial chemicals found around us. Much is known about effects of these chemicals on male birth, but little research has seen how they affect women. This is what our recent study intended to do.
We know that exposure to common contaminants is associated decrease in egg count of the ovaries of women of childbearing age. Even though these chemicals have been banned, they have been used in the past in household products such as fire retardants and mosquito sprays, and are still present in the environment and in foods such as fatty fish.
We measured levels of 31 common industrial chemicals, such as HCB (an agricultural fungicide) and The DDT (an insect), in the blood of 60 women. To measure their obesity, we measured the number of immature eggs present in their ovaries by counting samples of ovarian tissue using a microscope. Because the ovaries are inside the body and require surgery to get through, we chose pregnant women with a caesarean section, because it is possible to access tissue samples without further surgery.
We know that women with higher levels of chemicals in their blood samples also have fewer immature eggs left in their ovaries. We found significant connections between reduced egg numbers and certain chemicals, including PCB (used in coolants), DDE (a DDT product) and PBDE (a fire retardant). . As female fertility depending on age, we make sure to fix our calculations accordingly according to the age of the woman in question. It showed us that exposure to these chemicals resulted in fewer eggs for females of all ages.
We also know that women with higher levels of the chemical in their blood have to seek longer to get pregnant. For women with the highest levels of these chemicals in their blood, it took more than a year.
Unlike males, females are only born with a set set of immature eggs in their ovaries, and cannot produce new ones after birth. A woman’s “reserve” (the number of eggs in her ovaries) naturally decreases through monthly ovulations, as well as normal follicle death. If depleted below a critical level, natural obesity ends and menopause began. Our findings suggest that toxic chemicals can accelerate the loss of ovarian follicles, which can lead to reduced fertility and earlier menopause.
We are exposed to industrial chemicals through our diet, the products we put on our skin and even through our mothers while developing the womb.
The number of industrial chemicals, as well as the abundance of the environment, continues to rise. increased since the 1940s – with detrimental effects on ecosystem, wild life and even human productivity. Many chemicals have been introduced in the market little test for safety. This has led to a situation where people and the environment are exposed to a wide “soup” of industrial chemicals.
To date, many chemicals have been found to be harmful to reproduction after only decades of use by consumers. With it PFAS (ang chemicals used in Teflon, Scotch Guard and firefighting foam), phthalates (used in plastic packaging, medical equipment and soaps and shampoos), as well PESTICIDES and so on industrial chemicals such as PCBs.
With side effects decrease in sperm count of men, and possibly the ability of women to pregnant. Our study was the first to investigate the relationship between chemical exposure and the number of eggs in a woman.
The chemicals we study are all “ongoing”, which means they evolve in the body over time. Surprisingly, the chemicals we found to be associated with even smaller eggs were banned in a international agreement decades ago. Although because of their continuity, they even pollute the ecosystem and our food.
Interestingly, PCBs (one of the chemicals we studied) are also connected decreased sperm count and infertility in men. Simultaneous reduction in male and female fertility can make it even more difficult for couples to conceive.
In the future, researchers will need to examine whether the births of all women – as opposed to pregnant women – are equally affected by these chemicals. But these findings may inspire us to reconsider chemical safety to consider birth defects during safety checks.
Avoid certain foods (e.g. seafood) and specific products (like the ones we put on our skin and hair) can also help reduce the adverse effects of chemicals on the likelihood of us giving birth.
Originally published on The Speech.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.