Chemicals commonly found in drinking water and in everyday household uses can reduce fertility in women by up to 40%, according to a study by Mount Sinai researchers. Higher blood concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFASs, were associated with a significant reduction in the chance of pregnancy and live birth among a cohort of women of reproductive age in Singapore. they were trying to conceive.
The study included 1,032 women of childbearing age (18 to 45 years) who were trying to conceive. The researchers measured PFAS in plasma collected from the women between 2015 and 2017. They found that higher exposure to the PFAS chemicals, individually and as a mixture, was associated with a reduced chance of clinical pregnancy and live birth. More specifically, the team found 30 to 40% lower odds of achieving a clinical pregnancy within a year of follow-up and delivering a live birth when the combined effects of seven PFASs were considered as a mixture. The largest contributor to the PFAS mix was perfluorodecanoic acid, which was individually linked to reduced fertility. Associations with infertility outcomes were also observed for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, perfluorooctanoic acid, and perfluoroheptanoic acid.
Further work by scientists at the Institute for Exposomal Research at Icahn Mount Sinai, which is committed to increasing public understanding of how environmental exposures affect health and disease, will explore the biological mechanisms underlying the impact of PFAS chemicals. in women’s reproductive health.
The study results should serve as a warning to women around the world about the potentially harmful effects of PFAS when planning to conceive, and it is also important to advocate for policies that ban the use of toxic chemicals, such as PFAS, in everyday products.
This study was published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.