The use of flame-retardants to coat furniture and household goods is a common industrial practice.
After all, they dramatically reduce the risk of your house burning down in flames.
But what you may not know is that these chemicals have a sinister side to them if you are a woman who one day wants to have a baby, as discovered by a team of researchers at the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health and the Massachusetts General Hospital.
What is it?
Read on to learn more.
Codename: EARTH Study
The Harvard School of Public Health has been associated with various researches in its EARTH program (Environmental & Reproductive Health) created to understand the implications of environmental chemicals and lifestyle choices on fertility and reproduction.
But this study on flame retardants was the first one of its kind.
Therefore, the team of researchers collected urine samples from 211 women who sought pregnancy through in-vitro fertilization at the Massachusetts General Hospital over the course of 10 years (from 2005 to 2015) to help them get a more well-rounded knowledge of the chemical.
But what they discovered was truly dismaying. Like the fact that more than 80% of the samples contained toxic metabolic products of flame retardants in them. Namely, TDCIPP, TPHP, and mono-ITP.
Impact on Reproduction
Household items that commonly contain flame retardants include yoga mats, upholstered furniture, and baby products.
In short, most goods that are made of polyurethane foam.
And while PFRs were once considered a safe alternative to the more dangerous PentaBDE, recent animal studies have shown that these chemicals are capable of causing hormone disruption once they are absorbed into our body through the skin, or inhaled in through the air.
Chemicals that the Harvard researchers found were responsible for decreasing chances of getting pregnant by almost 41%, reducing the success of fertilization through IVF by 10%, and increasing risk of abortion by almost 38%.
So What Does That Mean For You?
If you are a woman who wishes to get pregnant soon, or wants to have a baby one day, based on the research findings, we recommend that you reduce your exposure to goods covered in organophosphate flame retardants.
In fact, if you found this article useful, we urge you to share it with your female friends and relatives to help spread the awareness.