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Flame retardants linked to female infertility (2017-09-04)

Women with high concentrations of organophosphate flame retardants (PFRs) in their urine may have a hard time getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term.

Organophosphate flame retardants (PFRs) can disrupt endocrine function and impair embryo development.

To evaluate associations between urinary concentrations of organophosphate flame retardants (PFRs) metabolites and outcomes of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment among couples recruited from an academic fertility clinic researchers enrolled 211 women who provided one or two urine samples per IVF cycle.

Lab tests showed high urinary levels of metabolites, or byproducts, of three flame retardants: diphenyl phosphate (DPHP), bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCIPP) and isopropylphenyl phenyl phosphate (ip-PPP).

Compared to women with the lowest levels of two of these chemicals - DPHP and ip-PPP - in their urine, women with the highest levels were 10 percent less likely to have a successful fertilization, 31 percent less likely to have an embryo implant in the uterus, 41 percent less likely to have a viable pregnancy, and 38 percent less likely to have a live birth.

Previous studies have linked exposure to products containing hormone-disrupting chemicals, such as pesticides and phthalates, to infertility and poorer reproductive success.

PFRs have been found to cause hormone disruption in animal studies.

In the current study, 87 percent of the women had BDCIPP in their urine, 94 percent had DPHP and 80 percent had ip-PPP.

Just 14 percent had the flame retardant tert-butylphenyl phenyl phosphate (tp-PPP), and none had bis(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BCIPP).

The study wasnít a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how flame retardants might impact womenís fertility and researchers didnít consider male partnersí exposure to flame retardants.

See also
Scientists Call for Caution on Widely Used Flame Retardants (01/11/2010)

Parabens in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, plastics, detergents, food, pesticides, tied to poor semen quality (2017-08-21)

For more information
Urinary Concentrations of Organophosphate Flame Retardant Metabolites and Pregnancy Outcomes among Women Undergoing in Vitro Fertilization
Environmental Health Perspectives