Pesticide exposure may harm reproductive health

Photo Credit:  Tatiana Vdb Photo Credit: Tatiana Vdb

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development recently published a paper examining how human reproduction is affected by persistent environmental pollutants. Specifically, they followed 501 couples who were trying to become pregnant, and calculated how exposure to environmental pollutants, such as organochlorine pesticides and flame retardants decreased their ability to conceive. They found that exposure to these pollutants can decrease fecundity in both men and women. While many studies have found threats to reproductive health associated with women’s exposure to synthetic chemicals, this study suggests that both men and women can suffer  negative reproductive effects from exposure to pollutants.