LUX Health: Fire Resistant Chemicals May Cause Infertility

Calling all LUXies who are looking to have a little one!

It seems with the increased safety measures to ensure your mattress and/or pillow don’t catch on fire might actually stand in the way of you having a little one!

That’s right, according to a new study out of University of California at Berkeley, women with increased levels of PBDEs, ‘a type of flame retardant commonly found in household consumer products,’ had a much more difficult time conceiving than those who had lower levels. The study was published in the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives and it showed a significant correlation between these chemicals in the blood stream and your ability to become pregnant on a monthly basis.

“There have been numerous animal studies that have found a range of health effects from exposure to PBDEs, but very little research has been done in humans. This latest paper is the first to address the impact on human fertility, and the results are surprisingly strong,” said the study's lead author, Kim Harley, adjunct assistant professor of maternal and child health and associate director of the Center for Children's Environmental Health Research at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. “These findings need to be replicated, but they have important implications for regulators.”

It seems that these new ‘fire resistant’ chemicals may have helped reduce a fire risk, but have also put us at great risk for much more. It’s estimated that 97% of U.S. residents have some detectable levels of PBDEs in their blood and that Americans have 20 times higher levels than Europeans. So LUXies, living in America we’re at the greatest risk for this exposure. Not to mention, if you live in California it’s even worse! The great sunny state has the toughest flammability laws, which exposes us to even higher levels of these chemicals in our everyday household items!

“We aren't looking at infertility, just subfertility, because all the women in our study eventually became pregnant,” said Harley. “Had we included infertile couples in our study, it is possible that we would have seen an even stronger effect from PBDE exposure.”

The good news is that every participant in the study eventually did get pregnant, though the length of time between the two groups was significantly longer for those with higher levels of PBDEs in their blood stream.

With the continued support for the negative effects of PBDEs they’re starting to be phased out in the U.S., but be prepared for this to be longer than expected. It’s up to you, as the consumer and mother to be, to know if what you’re buying is exposing you to additional chemicals that might be doing more harm than good. Perhaps, even research the different couches, mattresses, carpets and other treated items before you purchase them to ensure you’re up to date on what your consumer dollar is going towards!

As for those looking to conceive who have faced great difficulty without cause, you just might want to have your doctor check your blood levels!

LUX Nation, what are you thoughts on chemicals that are made to keep you safe causing more harm than good? Do you believe that it’s important for manufacturers to be more transparent with the impacts of the treated material? Or, do you believe it’s up to the consumers to educate themselves? Looking forward to hearing from you on this.

Tagged in: infertility, chemicals could cause complications, mattress fire resistant chemicals, pbdes, university of berkeley study,

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