A type of chemical commonly found in food packaging, carpets, clothing and personal care products may affect a womans ability to become pregnant, new research suggests.
Findings published in Human Reproduction indicate that a high level of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in the blood may delay pregnancy.
PFCs are currently being phased out of use in the U.S., to be completely gone by 2010, but scientists say traces may remain in the body for long periods after exposure.
Researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles looked at the blood samples from 1,240 pregnant women, then questioned them about how long it had taken them to get pregnant.
They found that those who had the highest levels of PFCs in their bloodstream were much more likely to have taken more than a year to conceive or been forced to turn to IVF.
Lead researcher Chunyuan Fei said previous research had also exposed disturbing effects of PFCs.
“Animal studies have shown that these chemicals may have a variety of toxic effects on the liver, immune system and developmental and reproductive organs,” he explained.
Once a woman becomes pregnant, taking regular nutritional supplements can help her maintain her own health and the wellbeing of her unborn child.