Environment

Forever chemical threatens female decreased fertility

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Published

April 14, 2023

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Published:

April 14, 2023

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Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as the forever chemicals, are a large chemical family of over 4,700 highly persistent chemicals that don’t occur in nature. New research published in the journal Science of The Total Environment “Exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances and women’s fertility outcomes in a Singaporean population-based preconception cohort” show that higher PFAS exposures are associated with decreased fertility in women.

PFAS are the most persistent synthetic chemicals. They hardly degrade in the natural environment and have been found in the blood and breastmilk of people and wildlife.

We are exposed to PFAS simultaneously via some of the products we use every day, as well as drinking water and certain food. Forever chemicals are present in food packaging, clothing, cosmetics, and toilet paper.

Number of studies have linked PFAS to cancers, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, liver damage, asthma, allergies. Those chemicals have also been linked with decreased fertility, newborn deaths, low birthweight, birth defects, and delayed development.

Number of studies have linked PFAS to cancers, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, liver damage, asthma, allergies

Researchers from the USA and Singapore measured PFAS in plasma collected over the period 2015-2017 from 382 women of reproductive age trying to conceive.

Using different methods, researches assessed the associations of individual PFAS with time-to-pregnancy (TTP), and the likelihoods of clinical pregnancy and live birth, respectively, over one year of follow-up, adjusting for analytical batch, age, education, ethnicity, and parity.

PFAS exposures are associated with decreased fertility in women, research
Foto: ScienceDirect

Contamination of drinking water with PFAS

Because it is extremely challenging for water treatment plants to remove PFAS from water, contamination of drinking water with those chemicals is a rising issue.

Bluewater, the global Swedish water purification and beverage solutions company, describes new research of how forever chemicals are linked to female infertility as terrifying.

“It is simply terrifying to live in a world where nearly everyone has chemicals like PFAS stored in their bodies and learn that women with high levels of the ‘forever chemicals’ in their blood have a 40% lower chance of becoming pregnant within 12 months of trying for a baby,” said Bengt Rittri, founder and CEO of Bluewater.

50% of people in France  consume bottled water

Fear of what is in tap water has driven millions of people worldwide to buy bottled water. For example, 50% of people in France consume bottled water. But, that is no guarantee they are drinking water free of chemicals, company said.  Several studies have shown that forever chemicals are also present in bottled water.

Bluewater water purification appliances remove up to 99.99% of health-threatening microplastics and chemicals such as toxic PFAS from tap water, Rittri said.

This company invited the governments businesses, and public society to invest in solutions to rid the planet of PFAS and related chemicals.

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