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Your Reproductive System and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – Bisphenol A - BPA

Infertility in men and women has increased dramatically over the past several decades. The causes of this have been studied with 1000’s of Peer Reviewed Research papers linking chemical exposure directly to infertility, specifically Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals or EDCs. In fact, one study showed, 93% of Americans tested positive for one of the most controversial chemicals, Bisphenol-A or BPA. This Endocrine Distributing Chemical was found in their urine by using a special US EPA lab designed specifically to conduct this delicate and complex testing.

This class of chemicals, EDCs are new to the human and in fact were only introduced in the late 1800’s. There are now well over 15,000 varieties of these Endocrine/Hormone disrupting chemicals ( HDCs). Many mimic or are biosimilar to sex hormones, like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. They are used and found in many common plastic products found around the home, including canned food liners, soda cans, beer cans, containers, make-up, plastic water pipes, plastic bottles, baby bottles, flame retardants on furniture and clothing, and cooking container that are used to heat food in microwaves.  Government regulatory bodies have not tested or proven these 15,000 EDCs are safe, even at very low doses. The amount of these hormone-disrupting chemicals (HDC) produced is growing every year. 

  • 7,000,000,000 pounds are produced every year. (Yes, 7 billion pounds)
  • Studies proved 91% of participants have BPA in their Urine
  • BPA is ruled a TOXIC chemical in Canada and will be banned in food products in France.

In a recent scientific literature review of 258 studies, 80% found very low exposure to these chemicals caused reproductive harm in lab animals. In 1996 a US Federal law was passed mandating the USEPA study these 15,000 chemicals. As of 2008, only 73 were even on the list to be included in the initial review, Bisphenol-A, BPA was not included. However, in Canada, BPA has been labeled toxic and banned in all baby products. Across the border in the USA it is considered “safe”. 

So what are the implications for the average couple that wants to conceive? In a recent study by HARVARD University, 93% of adults studied had BPA and Phthalates in their urine. The study was released in December 2012 ( Ehrlich S, etal, Hum Reprod. 3583-92 ). It further concluded that BPA levels were directly linked to the inability to conceive and also fertility issues in both men and women.

The HARVARD study has one primary question, “ In women undergoing In vitro fertilization ( IVF ), are urinary bisphenol A ( BPA ) concentrations associated with ovarian response and early reproductive outcomes, including oocytes and decreased blastocyst formation?”


The study states, “ Higher urinary BPA concentrations were found to be associated with decreased ovarian response, number of fertilized oocytes and decreased blastocyst formation.”

There were 174 women in the study, ages ranging from 18-45, undergoing 237 IVF cycles, between November 2004 and August 2010.

They found an “ Association between increased urinary BPA concentrations and decreased number of oocytes”, and also “decreased number of normally fertilized oocytes.” This was only with BPA, one (1) hormone disrupting chemicals. How about the other 14,999 other chemicals, particularly the Phthalates and their related compounds?

Continue reading about what you can do on the Science Page. 

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