Toxic chemicals are widespread. If you use commercial cleaning products, pesticides, and plastic containers, you may be exposing yourself and your family to poisonous substances. All of these items may contain chemicals called endocrine disruptors. Scientists believe that endocrine disruptors, including BPA, prevent your hormones from functioning normally, sometimes leading to fertility problems.

Ask a doctor about chemicals and your fertility

Found in numerous plastics, food containers, household products, and pesticides, these toxins can alter your hormone levels, wreaking havoc on your endocrine system. It is best to avoid these chemicals, including:

  • BPA
  • DDT
  • DES
  • Dioxin
  • PCB
  • Phthalates
  • Phytoestrogens

Scientists have only studied about five percent of the chemicals currently being used in the U.S. More work needs to be done before we know how harmful these chemicals can be.

Many diseases have environmental and genetic causes. Some fertility problems have unknown reasons, while other have infectious or other issues are linked to environmental exposure.

During infancy and in utero babies can be exposed to environmental toxins. Ounce for ounce, pound for pound, their bodies absorb a much higher concentration of toxins than adults, leading to later fertility problems. Toxin exposure in the womb can have major effects, like sex organ deformities, early puberty in females, and male factor infertility.

If you already have children or become pregnant, take special care to reduce your young ones' exposure to toxic chemicals. Pregnant women must be cautious about chemicals for their own health as well. Some pollutants are linked to increased miscarriage rates.

Here is what you can do to prevent exposure to toxins:

  1. Choose glass storage containers. If you already have plastic containers, do not heat liquids or foods in them.
  2. Discard products containing BPA and look for BPA-free labels when buying new items.
  3. Turn down receipts when possible. Some receipt papers may contain BPA.
  4. Avoid buying health, home, and beauty products that contain artificial fragrances (which may be tainted by phthalates, a harmful toxin).
  5. Choose non-toxic pest control methods. Consider "green" cleaning supplies and alternatives to chemical cleaners in the home.
  6. Consider changing your diet. Reduce your consumption of fatty meats and dairy products since some chemicals appear in the fatty tissues of animals.
  7. Drink filtered water.
  8. Choose organic foods and beverages.
  9. Don't smoke.

If you think you may be exposed to dangerous toxins, talk to your doctor. Don't be surprised if he or she is not concerned. Research is ongoing in this field, and until more studies are done, this topic can be controversial. To be safe, avoid chemical exposures to reduce your risk of health and fertility problems. 

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