Various environmental risk factors don't only affect the health of the people but harm the fertility of men and women.
The improvement in industrialization and urbanization led to a drastic change in lifestyle and different environmental risk factors. People are exposed to polluted air, containing lead and water contaminated by arsenic, chromium, and benzene. Even the agricultural water and soil contain pesticides and chemical fertilizers, resulting in contaminated crops.
Furthermore, hormones and drugs are present in meat and dairy products. Aside from that, people are more exposed to harmful radiations such as cosmic, ultraviolet, and X-rays, electromagnetic waves from cellular phones, and physical and psychological stresses in living and working environments.
Human fertility has been adversely affected by exposure to chemical contaminants called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These are synthetic and naturally occurring chemicals that can't be identified by any unique physical or chemical properties but are characterized by their ability to mimic the effects of endogenous hormones.
EDCs are linked to numerous adverse human health outcomes such as alterations in sperm quality and fertility, abnormalities in sex organs, endometriosis, early puberty, altered nervous system function, immune function, cancers, respiratory problems, metabolic issues, diabetes, cardiovascular problems growth, neurological and learning disabilities, and more.
Common Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)
Some of the anti-bacterial soaps contained EDCs.
Impacts of EDCs in Fertility
EDCs block connections between the hormones and their receptors, or they mimic the hormonal activity which triggers the receptors to take action. These chemicals disrupt the normal functions of the hormonal systems.
Some of the adverse effects of EDCs are changing the neuroendocrine pathways in reproductive health, comprising embryo implantation, early onset of puberty, lengthening menstrual cycles and accelerating menopause, shortening a woman's reproductive lifespan, and changing reproductive hormones in prepubescent girls and healthy premenopausal women.
In men, EDCs harm the reproductive system by declining sperm counts and leading to undescended testicles and urethra defects. These chemicals also affect sperm production and quality and result in poor sperm motility, concentration, volume, and morphology.
How to Avoid EDCs
Food and water
Washing your food before cooking them helps in preventing EDCs.
Food and water can be contaminated by EDCs. In avoiding contamination, it is essential to trim fat from meat and the skin from fish. It is safer to use a rack while cooking to allow fat to drain. Also, always wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
For plastic food containers, avoid putting them in the microwave or use them for storing hot liquids. Also, avoid using plastic containers designated #3, #6, and #7. Furthermore, reduce consumption of canned and processed goods.
If possible, consume organic produce meat and dairy products. Prepare more meals at home and use fresh ingredients. Also, eat a diversified diet with plenty of variety. When cooking your meal, prefer newer ceramic-coated pans to older non-stick pans.
Exercise and activity
It is recommended to exercise where there is no pollution
Before doing your regular exercise, it is advisable to check first the air quality in your area. Avoid outdoor exercise when pollution levels are high. Also, prevent exercising near high traffic areas and choose routes away from busy roads and vehicles.
Avoid buying fragrance that contains phthalates.
When buying products for personal care, read the labels first and avoid products containing phthalates. Choose products labeled "Phthalate-Free", " BPA-Free", and "Paraben-Free". Also, avoid fragrances and opt for cosmetics labeled "no synthetic fragrance" and "scented only with essential oils".
Moreover, wash your hands often, especially before preparing and eating food. Aside from that, minimize handling receipts and thermal paper.
Around Your Home
Planting trees helps in filtering out airborne gases.
If you are using a submersible pump that has oily film or fuel odor, check to see if it still works. If not, replace it immediately. Also, discard old fluorescent bulbs and deteriorating construction materials from older buildings.
In addition, minimize burning wood or trash and use hand-powered or electric lawn care equipment instead of gas-powered alternatives. Aside from that, forbid smoking indoors. Clean your floors regularly and plant trees to filter out airborne gases.
Dr. Yaron Seidman DAOM