Chemicals called phthalates are used to make the plastics employed in manufacturing the containers of many consumer products, including foods, beverages and cosmetics. Research over the past few years has linked these chemicals to a number of health problems, including infertility. Now comes another warning to avoid these products.
Women whose male partners have high concentrations of three common forms of these chemicals take longer to become pregnant than do other women, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions. The study was published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
“Our study shows that exposure to certain phthalates can reduce the chances of conception for otherwise healthy couples,” said the study’s first author, Germaine M. Buck Louis, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “Many people have been exposed to these compounds, so it’s important to continue to investigate whether they have any health effects.”