Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Food for Thought

My brother sent me a link to this article today and it makes you wonder about what we are doing differently these days that may have an affect on fertility. Besides just waiting longer to start a family there has to be other things affecting so many couples. Here is an excerpt of the article:

Household Chemicals May Be Linked to Infertility

"Researchers at the UCLA School of Public Health have found the first evidence that perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs — chemicals that are widely used in everyday items such as food packaging, pesticides, clothing, upholstery, carpets and personal care products — may be associated with infertility in women.

Published online in Human Reproduction, Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal, the study found that women who had higher levels of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in their blood took longer to become pregnant than women with lower levels....

...The researchers divided the women's levels of PFOS/PFOA into four quartiles and found that, compared with women with the lowest levels of exposure, the likelihood of infertility increased by 70 to 134 percent for women in the higher three quartiles of PFOS exposure and by 60 to 154 percent for women in the higher three quartiles of PFOA exposure...

...In addition to being found in household goods, PFCs, the class of chemicals to which PFOS and PFOA belong, are used in manufacturing processes involving industrial surfactants and emulsifiers. They persist in the environment and in the body for decades."

I looked up where PFC's are found in and it's just scary because it's everything from teflon pans, stainmaster carpet, household cleaners, food packaging, shampoo, shoes and clothing. But to make matters worse it's ended up in our water supply too. And it take 8-9 years to get it out of our system but since we are likely exposed to it all of the time we may never get rid of it at all. I did find a source on how to limit exposure:

  • avoid non-stick pans
  • avoid anything "stain proof" or "waterproof"
  • minimize packaged food and greasy fast food containers because they have a coating on them to prevent 'sticking.'
  • check your makeup and body care products for anything with the phrase 'fluoro' or 'perfluoro'

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