Perfluorinated chems may reduce fertility

Thanks to my colleague Lara McNamee for sharing this article about a study on perfluorinated chemicals and their effects on women’s fertility.

According to research scientists from University of California’s Department of Epidemiology, exposure to perfluorinated chemicals such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoate) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) – which are widely used in many consumer products and industrial processes because of their heat resistance and ability to repel water and oil- can lead to increase in infertility for women.

Their study was published in the journal Human Reproduction last week.

Those found with higher levels of PFOAs and PFOS were more than likely to take longer to become pregnant according to the study. Their study also suggests that PFCs might impair the growth of babies in the womb.

According to this BBC report, the researchers were now waiting for further studies to confirm the link between fertility problems and PFCs. Some say the link is tenuous and further research is needed.

As the blog previously reported, several chemical companies are already trying to eliminate PFOAs in their production anyway ever since the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated in 2006 a voluntary stewardship program to reduce human and environmental exposure of the chemical.

The EPA said last year that major producers will be able to meet the industry’s 95% PFOA emission reduction target worldwide by 2010. Arkema, Asahi, Ciba, Clariant, Daikin, DuPont, 3M/Dyneon and Solvay Solexis all intend to eliminate emissions and PFOA content in products by 2015.

For PFOS, 3M is the only manufacturer in the US and it already agreed to phase out its production and use of the chemical nine years ago, according to the EPA.
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