Toxins Impact on Fertility Rise on Agendas

The American Fertility Association (AFA) joins the ranks of numerous organizations that are attributing infertility to environmental toxins in some cases. The AFA publicly announced its commitment to creating a greener world for conception with the release of their Dirty Dozen Factsheet and Infertility Prevention Handbook, both of which feature environmental toxins’ impact on fertility. As evidence continues to grow supporting various environmental factors’ impact on fertility, more organizations are joining the cause to reduce and eliminate toxins that are known to be harmful to humans. The United Nation estimates that 1.3 million individuals die every year from preventable environmental and occupational causes of cancer, a number the AFA is dedicated to reducing.

The scientific research supporting the direct correlation between environmental toxins and negative health impacts has risen dramatically over the past ten years. While studies conducted in the 1990s suggested that many cases were unrelated, new data and more sophisticated tests have determined cause and effect patterns. Studies analyzing male infertility point to three main hazards: physical exposure, chemical exposure, and psychological exposure to environmental and negative health triggers that result in infertility. Epidemiological studies strongly support ethylene dibromide, glycol ethers, and a host of other chemicals as contributing to infertility among men.

Endocrine disruptors, which disrupt the development of gender specific organs, have been long documented as sources of unhealthy fetuses. Mostly found in household and beauty products, studies are typically conducted on women. The increased attention, and now declaration by the AFA adds to the growing voice that exposure to environmental toxins that is preventable, is unacceptable. Although the fertility industry has grown significantly over the past 20 years through medical and scientific advances, preventing infertility in the first place could use a financial boost.

As consumers grow more conscious of not only their environmental impacts, but also the impact of products on their health, companies will need to become increasingly aware of their products’ impacts.

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Tiffany Finley started her sustainability journey while camping in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota. Since then she has been dedicated to reconciling the industrial and the natural world views to create a hybridized mode of development toward sustainability. Majoring in Environmental Management in the US and then obtaining a Master's of Science in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability in Sweden, she takes an analytical view based on science. She works with non-profits, small to medium businesses, and government organizations to strategize for sustainability in their respective sectors. Honored to join the writing cast at Triple Pundit, she looks forward to covering a wide range of sustainability news.