Food for Thought: Phthalates and male fertility

Health

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – About nine percent of men in the U.S. experience fertility problems.

According to research at the National Institutes of Health, women whose male partners have high concentrations of chemicals found in plastic called phthalates take longer to become pregnant than women whose male partner does not have high concentrations of the chemicals.

Researchers had 501 couples enrolled in the five-year study. They tested the levels of phthalates in the urine of the men and women and found it took 20 percent longer to conceive when the men had high levels of phthalates in their urine.

The phthalates may cause changes in hormones and decreased sperm count and motility.

These chemicals are found in a variety of products including plastic, fragrance, shampoo, printing ink, insecticide, adhesives, vinyl tile, and car care products.

Our biggest exposure is from eating and drinking foods that have been in contact with plastic containers and the lining of cans. Even plastic labeled BPA free can be a problem.

Try to use glass and wax paper when storing your food. Look for personal care products labeled “no phthalates” and wear gloves and maybe a mask to cover your nose and mouth when you use chemicals on your lawn or washing your car.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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