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Chemicals Can Harm Fertility

A subset of chemicals called phthalates are banned from many products in the European Union, but area still common in the United States. The substances, found in many soft plastics, cosmetics, and haircare products, can decrease sperm motility in men. Phthalates can be absorbed through the skin from sources like cologne, aftershave, and shampoo, inhaled as fumes from nail polish or hair spray, ingested orally through time-release medications or items stored in soft plastic bags, or even injected into the bloodstream through transfusions or IV fluids held in phthalate-containing bags. Another chemical used in plastics that has raised alarms, bisphenol-A (BPA), causes chromosomal abnormalities in the eggs of otherwise normal mice. While researchers can’t say for certain the chemicals would have the same effect on human fertility, there have been studies that show a link between BPA blood levels and miscarriages.