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Information Compiled by
Wayne Sinclair, M.D.
Richard W. Pressinger, (M.Ed.)
Graduate Research Project, University of South Florida, Tampa

Environmental Causes of Infertility and Miscarriage provides surprising evidence on how common chemicals in the home and workplace can weaken or damage the reproductive process in both men an women. The majority of information has been summarized from major medical journals. Journal names, dates and titles are provided with each summary.

Infertility Toxicology Topics
Chlorine Disinfection - Cosmetics - Fragrances - Job Exposures -
Cigarettes - Pesticide Use - Vehicle Exhaust - Home Products -
Coffee - MSG (flavor enhancer) - Plastics - PCB's
Nutrasweet (artificial sweetener) - Alcohol - Food Additives
While the research below discusses negative effects occurring from a single environmental exposure, effects from combined exposures could be expected to have a far greater harmful effect on fertility. Therefore, by decreasing or eliminating exposure to as many of the following circumstances as possible, we could expect to observe even further improvements in fertility.
Evidence below also demonstrates the same environmental circumstances responsible for infertility and miscarriage can also increase the risk of having a child with mental retardation, learning disabilities or behavior problems (such as A.D.D.). This is based on the premise that avoidance of these circumstances will also increase the genetic integrity of the child, thereby encouraging maximum gene expression related to all aspects of human behavior from personality - to talent - to academic learning ability.

Infertility & Miscarriage
Research Summaries

(Information summarized from major medical journals and magazine articles) 

Percentage of women with infertility differs with age 

15-24 years old.......... 4.1%

25-34 years old.......... 13.1%

35-44 years old.......... 21.4%

National Center for Health Statistics

Redbook Magazine, August, 1993

The risk of miscarriage differs with age

20-29 years old.......... 10% risk of miscarriage

45 or older ............... 50% risk of miscarriage

Chatelaine Magazine

November 1993, pg. 26

Male infertility increases over past 40 years
One-half of 1% of men were functionally sterile in 1938. Today it has reached between 8-12% (an over 15-fold increase). "Functionally sterile" is defined as sperm counts below 20 million per milliliter of semen. 

Note: A recent report attaining media attention states sperm count has not declined over the past 4 decades.  However, note how the study used the dates of 1951 for the 1st comparison study.  1951 was well after the introduction of large amounts of chemicals into society and was a year in which vehicle emissions contained both high levels of lead and large amounts of toxic hydrocarbon/solvent combustion products.   Also, by 1951, pesticide use was making its way into consumer use.

Dr. Cecil Jacobson

Reproductive Genetics Center

Vienna, Virginia


Miscarriage more common with low sperm counts
Women experiencing miscarriages typically had husbands with lower sperm counts. On average, 48% of male sperm appeared "abnormal"  (i.e. 2 heads, 2 tails, etc.) under microscopic examination. Men who fathered normal pregnancies had 25% higher sperm counts and only 5% visually abnormal sperm.
Drs. Mirjam Furuhjelm and Birgit Jonson

Dept. of Obst. and Gyn., Sabbatsberg Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

International J. of Fertility, 7(1):17-21, 1962

Miscarriage more common living near agriculture/pesticides
Women who lived within 2 miles of of where certain pesticides were used faced twice the risk of miscarriage. Women who lived within 1 mile of farming areas using organophosphate or carbamate pesticides experienced a 40% increase in miscarriage.

Dr. Erin Bell (Ph.D.)
University of North Carolina
School of Public Health


40% of couple infertility is due to the male Dr. Pat McShane

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston Massachusetts

Sperm damage from the common chemical Phthalates
- found in perfume - plug-in air fresheners - fabric softeners - body lotions - colognes - shampoos & body creams
According to the scientists - This study represents the first human data to demonstrate that normal environmental levels of the chemical known as "Phthalates" (pronounced "thalates") - is associated with increased DNA damage in sperm. Phthalates are a chemical added to many products as a thickening agent (i.e., perfumes - colognes & shampoos) and as a chemical to make plastics soft and pliable.

Susan M Duty, Nerendra P Singh

Department of Environmental Health
Occupational Health Program
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA


Nationwide infertility rates
A study by the National Center for Health Statistics estimated in 1988 that 8.4% of women 15-44 years had impaired ability to have children and about half of these couples eventually conceive. (These are overall average infertility figures pertaining only to women - statistics will vary greatly depending on the age of the woman.  Couple infertility rates are nearly double this percentage since it then takes into account male infertility).
Dr. Howard Jones

New England Journal of Medicine
December 2, 1993 pg. 1710

Article entitled "The Infertile Couple"

Fertility treatments not very effective
Expensive fertility treatments resulted in only a 6 percentage point improvement in achieving pregnancy over "infertile" couples who just "kept trying." In a study of 1,145 couples who had been diagnosed as infertile, only half of them were treated to help attain pregnancy. After a two to seven-year follow-up, pregnancies occurred in 41% of the treated couples and 35% of the untreated couples.
Dr. John A. Collins
Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

New England Journal of Medicine
November 17, 1983

More evidence fertility treatments not effective
Another study of 2,000 couples found "roughly the same" small improvements in achieving pregnancy when comparing couples who sought fertility treatments and those who kept trying.
Dr. John A. Collins
Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

Sterility Fertility Journal, Fall 1993
IVF (in-vitro fertilization) increases birth defects
Children born using IVF have nearly a 3 times greater risk of developing cerebral palsy than children born through normal conception. Developmental delays were 4 times more common in IVF children. The study compared 5,680 chilren born after IVF and compared them with 11,360 non-IVF children.

Stromberg, Dahlquist, Ericson, Finnstrom, Koster, Stjerngist

Department of Women and Child Health
University Children's Hospital
Uppsala, Sweden

Lancet: 2002: 359(9305):461-5, Feb 9, 2002

Infertility treatments were a $1 billion a year industry
in the 1990's and $2 billion by 2015.


Vol. 19(176), January, 1994

American RadioWorks

Excessive sperm damage linked to older homes
Men with higher levels of a chemical known as PCB's have increased rates of chromosome abnormalities in their sperm (the largest cause of infertility and miscarriage). PCB's were originally used as a coolant in electric power transformers on utility poles decades ago, but new studies show it was also used extensively in the construction and renovation of homes built in the 1950's, 60's and 70's. PCB sources include - mortar between concrete blocks and bricks - caulking - paints - floor varnishes - under tile - adhesives under carpet - gaskets in AC ventilation - wall joints and also in roofing and siding. PCB's were used primarily to thicken and impart flexibility in these products. Other sources include light fixture ballasts in flurorescent lights which begin leaking if installed during the 50's, 60's and 70's. See link at right for brochure detailing these sources.
Megan E McAuliffe
Paige L. Williams
Suisan A. Korrick

SOURCE: Environmental Health Perspectives
Volume 120:4: April 2012

View Article Online

Brochure: PCB Sources in Construction

Failed embryo implantation caused by PCB's
As stated above, PCB's are toxic chemicals found in the air of older homes built in the 1950's, 60's and 70's. Women with the highest levels of what is called PCB 153 had twice as many failed implantations and were 41% less likely to have a live birth than women who had the lowest levels of PCB 153. This is a very significant finding since there were 765 women participating in the study.

Meeker JD, et al.
Dept. of Env Health Sciences
University of Michigan School of Public Health
Harvard School of Public Health

Enviornmental Health Perspectices
Vol. 119(7):1010-16, July 1, 2011

View Article Online

Miscarriage rates higher living near agriculture
Mothers who lived near crops where certain pesticides were sprayed faced a 40 to 120 percent increase in risk of miscarriage due to birth defects.
Erin Bell (Ph.D.)
University of North Carolina
School of Public Health

SOURCE: Epidemiology, March 2001

20% of all cases where the male is the only contributing factor to infertility can be corrected by lifestyle. Dr. Wolfram Nolten

Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism University of Wisconsin

Lower sperm count increases risk of miscarriage
The odds of having a miscarriage or child with birth defects raises dramatically when fathers have lower sperm counts. When the fathers sperm counts were above 80 million/ml they had only a 1% birth defect rate compared to 6% for the general population. Miscarriages were also lower for the fathers with higher sperm counts - 6% compared to 12% for the general population.


Dr. J. K. Sherman

University of Arkansas study of 1000 children whose mothers were artificially inseminated with sperm from men whose sperm counts were above 80 million per milliliter.

Washington Star Newspaper
January 7, 1979

Water chlorine decreases sperm quality
Men exposed to chlorinated water (drinking, bathing, showering, swimming) were found to have reduced sperm motility (movement) and lower sperm count. The effect was correlated to the chemical Trichloroacetic Acid, which forms as a by-product after chlorine disinfection of water. The study was conducted among 2,009 men with a median age of 31. For assessing sperm count effects, men were divided into four groups (quartiles) from highest to lowest sperm count. Men with sperm counts in the lowest quartile had the highest levels of chlorine disinfection chemicals in their urine/blood. The same effects were observed for sperm motility.

CHEM-TOX COMMENT: This one seems relatively easy to correct - purchase a chlorine shower filter to remove this chemical.

Drs. Qiang-Zeng, Yi-Xin Wang, Shao-Hua Xie, Liang Xu, Yong-Zhe Chen, Min Li, Jing Yur, Yu-Feng Li, Ai-Lin Liu, We-Zng Lu

Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 122, Issue 07, July, 2014

Infertile couples have higher levels of thalates
Chemicals called thalates (actually spelled PHTHALATES) are used to soften plastics and smooth the texture of other products. They are found in plastic wrap, vinyl shower curtains, carpet padding and also found in perfumes, colognes, shampoos, paints and body creams. Phthalates are also used in plug-in and stand alone air fresheners as a thickening agent. Couples unable to conceive were found to have 3 to 5 times higher urine levels of pthalates when compared to couples who achieved pregnancy. These chemicals mimic natural hormones needed for conception and may be interfering with this process.

As of 2016, these chemicals were still allowed in the U.S. but have been banned in the European Union.

Giovann Tranfo, Lidia Caporossi,
Enrico Paci, et al.

Toxicology Letters
Vol. 213, Issue 1, August 2012, Pg. 15-20

Flame retardant chemical higher in infertile women
Flame retardant chemicals, called PBDE's, are added to foam rubber in couch cushions, carpet pads and to materials in new beds. Women with 8-10 times higher levels of PBDE's in their blood were 30% less likely to become pregnant. The European Union banned PBDE's in 2002, but a ban has not been done in the U.S. Not surprisingly, Americans have 20 times more PBDE's in their blood than Europeans.

Kim G. Harley, Amy R. Marks, Jonathan Chevrier, Asa Bradman, Andreas, Sjodin, Brenda Eskenazi

Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 118:699-704, January, 2010

Smokers have lower sperm counts
Smokers sperm counts are on average 13%-17% lower than nonsmokers.
Dr. Marilyn F. Vine
University of North Carolina

Fertility Sterility Journal 6(1):35-43, 1994

Stopping smoking increases sperm counts
A study of three smokers who were followed for 5-15 months after stopping smoking reported that their sperm counts rose 50-800%, suggesting that toxic chemicals in the smoke are responsible and any reduction in sperm count is reversible.

(same article as above)

Smokers have more abnormal sperm
"Male smokers have an increase in sperm abnormalities, thereby suggesting a mutagenic effect."
Quoted from:
American J. of Epidemiology
140(10):921-928, 1994

The original study was reported in the journal Lancet, Volume 1:627-629, 1981

Cigarette consumption increases over 40 years
"Cigarette consumption in the U.S. has increased 3-4 fold from 1940 to the beginning of the 1980's."
Dr. R. J. Ravalet
Population Develop. Reviews 
Vol. 16:213-240, 1990
Smokers face higher infertility
38% of female non-smokers conceived in their 1st cycle of attempting pregnancy compared to 28% of smokers. Smokers were also 3-4 times more likely than non-smokers to have taken greater than a year to conceive.

Dr. D. Baird
National Institute of Environmental Health, NC

Journal of American Medical Association
Vol. 253:2979-83, 1985

Abnormally shaped sperm linked to decreased fertilization
"A high number of abnormal sperm heads is associated with decreased fertilization. Some drugs such as sulphasalazine, used to treat inflammatory bowel disease can drastically reduce semen quality."
Dr. N. E. Skakkebaek
University Dept. of Growth and Reproduction

Lancet, June 11, 1994, pg. 1474

Pesticides suspected of causing infertility
Men experiencing infertility were found to be employed in agricultural/pesticide related jobs 10 times more often than a study group of men not experiencing infertility. See related articles showing pesticides can damage sperm and testicles.
Dr. Hein Strokum
Institute of Sterility Treatment, Vienna, Austria

American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Vol. 24:587-592, 1983

Common pesticide reduces sperm count
Lower sperm counts and visual damage to the sperm producing section of the testicles (called the seminiferous tubules), were found in test subjects exposed to the pesticide chlordane.
Drs. Khawla J. Balash, Muthanna A. Al-Omar
Univ. of Baghdad, Biological Research CenterScientific Research Council, Baghdad, Iraq

Bulletin of Environmental Contamination Tox.
Vol. 39:434-442, 1987

Pesticides in food reduce sperm count
Animals were divided into 3 groups:
Group 1 was fed wheat grown with chemical fertilzers alone - Group 2 was fed wheat using chemical fertilzers and manure - Group 3 was fed wheat grown using organic compost. Microscopic inspection showed the seminiferous tubules were larger and properly shaped when compared to mice eating food grown using only chemical methods. Seminferous tubules are the structures that make sperm. Hey guys... Time to eat organic for 3 months!

Drs. Patricia P Scott, J.P. Greaves, M.G. Scott

Royal Free Hospital of Medicine, London

Journal of Reproductive Fertility, 1: 130-138, 1960

Laundry detergent chemical lowers sperm count
Commercial laundry detergents use a synthetic chemical called "nonylphenol" to assist with emulsifying oils. Men with urine levels of the laundry detergent chemical "nonylphenol" higher than the overall sample median had a high risk 21 times greater risk of having low sperm counts (below 20x10-6th exponent).


C Y Lu, C H Chang, R S Lin, Y C Hung, P L Torng, S U Chen, F C Sung

National Taiwan University, Taipei.
China Medical University, Taichung

Epidemiology: Vol. 17(6), p S396, Nov. 2006

Infertility caused by pesticide found in the air of homes
built before March 1988

Approximately 75% of U.S. homes are being being found to contain the pesticide chlordane in the breathable air. Of significant concern, over 5% of homes built before March of 1988 have been found to have air levels of the pesticide chlordane above the "safe" level of 5 micrograms per cubic meter. (In homes built before 1980 this is over 20%!). If you would like more detailed information on the chlordane problem and how infertility could be caused by living in one of these homes you can visit the chlordane web site at www.chem-tox.com/chlordane



Teratogenesis, Carcinogenesis, & Mutagenesis 

Vol. 7:527-540, 1987

Autoantibodies higher in people exposed to pesticides
The pesticide Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) was found to cause increases in autoimmune antibodies in people exposed to the pesticide. Autoantibodies are "renegade" immune system components which mistakenly attack the persons own self. (Please see other references in this report which link some cases of male and female infertility to autoimmune disorders in which the immune cells attack either the sperm or egg.
Drs. Jack D. Thrasher, Roberta Madison et. al.
Department of Health Science
California State University

Archives of Environmental Health
Vol. 48(2), 1993 March/April

Car exhaust decreases fertility
The common car exhaust compound benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) causes a significant reduction in fertility in test animals and fertility was further lowered when animals were exposed to both BaP and lead simultaneously. Results showed approximately a 33% reduction in ovarian weight and a "marked reduction in ovarian follicles."
Drs. P. Kristensen, Einar Eilertsen, et al.

National Institute of Occupation Health, Norway

Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 103:588-590, 1995

Coffee decreases fertility
A study of 1,909 women in Connecticut found the risk of not conceiving for 12 months (the usual definition of infertility), was 55% higher for women drinking 1 cup of coffee per day - 100% higher for women drinking 1 and one-half to 3 cups and 176% higher for women drinking more than 3 cups of coffee per day.
Hatah (1990) 
This study referenced by-
Drs. Larry Dulgosz, Michael B. Brachs
Yale University School of Medicine

Epidemiologic Reviews
Vol. 14, pg. 83, 1992

Coffee increases miscarriage risk
Coffee drinking before and during pregnancy was associated with over twice the risk of miscarriage when the mother consumed 2-3 cups of coffee per day.


Dr. Claire Infante-Rivard
Department of Occupation Health
Faculty of Medicine
McGill University, Quebec Canada
Journal of the American Medical Association
December 22, 1993
Coffee reduces blood to the brain
Coffee drinking caused a 20-25% reduction in blood flow to the brains of healthy college volunteers 30 minutes after drinking 250 milligrams of caffeine (about the amount in a freshly brewed cup of coffee).


Dr. Roy J . Mathew

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

British Journal of Psychiatry, December, 1984

Spontaneous abortion after chemical exposure
Spontaneous abortion increased over 4-fold for women once they became employed as microelectronics assembly workers. This job exposes women to a number of chemical solvents used in cleaning the electronic components including xylene, acetone, trichlorethylene, petroleum distillates and others, as well as solder vapors. Acetone is also used in removing nail polish.

Drs. G. Huel, D. Mergler, R. Bowler
Quebec Institute for Research in Occupational Health and Safety, University of Quebec, Canada

Occupational Medicine Clinic, University of California, San Francisco, California

British Journal of Industrial Medicine
Vol. 47:400-404, 1990

Cocaine and abnormal offspring
Cocaine exposure to males before conceiving is linked to abnormal development in offspring. The suspected cause is that cocaine binds onto the sperm and therefore, finds its way into the egg at fertilization.
Dr. Ricardo Yazigi

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Washington University School of Medicine

Journal of the American Medical Association
Vol. 66(14), Oct. 9, 1991

Food Additive MSG reduces pregnancy success
MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), a common flavor enhancer added in foods, was found to cause infertility problems in test animals. Male rats fed MSG before mating had less than a 50% success rate (5 of 13 animals), whereas male rats not fed MSG had over a 92% success rate (12 of 13 animals). Also the offspring of the MSG treated males showed shorter body length, reduced testes weights and evidence of overweight at 25 days. MSG is found in ACCENT, flavored potato chips, Doritos, Cheetos, meat seasonings and many packaged soups. 


Drs. William J. Pizzi, June E. Barnhart, et. al.

Department of Psychology
Northeaster Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois

Neurobehavioral Toxicology
Vol. 2:1-4, 1979

20-25% of miscarriages are due to immune system problems.

Dr. Salim Daya
The Fertility Clinic
Chedoke-McMaster Hospital, Ontario

Chatelaine Magazine, November, 1993

Miscarriages higher after chemical solvent exposure
Two solvent chemicals exposed to working pregnant mothers making silicon chips had a 33% miscarriage rate where normally the miscarriage rate is 15%.
Time Magazine

October 22, pg. 27,1992

Male infertility and chemicals in drinking water
Drinking water from the Thames Water Supply in the United Kingdom was pinpointed as the cause of lower sperm counts and increases in abnormally shaped sperm. Common detergents were the chemical suspected as causing the reproductive damage.
Dr. Jean Ginsburg
London Royal Free Hospital

Lancet, Jan. 22

Anesthesia linked to birth defects
Birth defects occurred nearly 3 times more often in a study of 621 Michigan nurse anesthetists (a nurse who helps with anesthesia preparation). A total of 16.4% of the nurses practicing anesthesia during pregnancy had children with birth defects compared to only 5.7% of nurses not practicing anesthesia.
Drs. Thomas H. Corbett and Richard Cornell 
Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

Anesthesiology, 41(4), 1974

Malfunctioning immune system causes infertility
The rate of autoimmune antibodies (antibodies which mistakenly attack the person's own body) was 33% in women unable to deliver a baby to full term and 0% in a control group of women with successful pregnancies.
Dr. Eli Gea
In Vitro Fertilization Unit
Serlin Maternity Hospital
Tel Aviv, Israel

Fertility Sterility Journal, 62(4), October, 1994

Risks from medical fertility treatments
A common treatment for infertility is administration of follicle stimulating hormones. Regarding this treatment researchers stated, "Persistent stimulation of the ovary by gonadotropins may have a direct carcinogenic effect or an indirect effect attributable to raised concentration of estrogens."
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Radbond University, Netherlands

Lancet, April 17, 1993, pg. 987

Alcohol reduces fertilization success
A large 50% reduction in conception was found in experiments of test animals given "intoxicating" doses of alcohol 24 hours prior to mating.
Dr. Theodore J. Cicero
Washington University School of Medicine

Science News, Vol. 146

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) success rates depend on the woman's age:

under 35 years....... 45-50% success

35-40 years............ 28-35% success

age 41..................... 20% success

42 and older........... 3% success

The cost of IVF can exceed $8,000- (IVF is fertilization taking place in a "test tube" after removal of a woman's egg).


Dr. Rosenwaks

New York Hospital

Cornell Medical Center

Redbook Magazine, August, 1993

Studies of "painters" found they are more likely to father children with defects of the central nervous system

Dr. Andrew Olshan
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

U.S. News & World Report, December 14, 1992

Dental workers have higher rate of pregnancy problems
More spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and congenital defects occurred in dentists and dental assistants compared with the control group (24% compared to 11%, respectively). Five out of six malformations were spina bifida. Dentists are exposed to higher than normal rates of mercury, adhesives and chemicals used in plastics.
Drs. Birgitte Blatter,
Marjolihn van der Star, Nel Roeleveld

Department of Medical Informatics and Epidemiology, University of Nijmegen, Netherlands

International Archives of Occupational & Environmental Health
Vol. 59:551-557, 1987

Marijuana use at "moderate" levels was found to stop ovulation in monkeys for 103 to 135 days
Researchers also stated that the THC in marijuana may be directly toxic to the developing egg. Dr. Carol Smith, the main researcher, stated, "There are nervous pathways into the hypothalamus (a gland that regulates the reproductive cycle) that are being suppressed." 

Dr. Smith also stressed that women who are attempting to conceive or who are pregnant should not use marijuana. 

Dr. Carol Grace Smith

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.

Ricardo Asch, University of Texas, Austin

Science, March 25, 1983

Also reported in Science News, March 26, 1983


Sperm damage about 50% higher after exposure to the general anesthesia enflurane.  Anesthesia levels given to the animals was equal to the level that could be given to humans. Dr. Paul C. Land and E. L. Owen
Department of Anesthesia, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois

Anesthesiology, 54:53-56, 1981

Quotes from the Harvard Health Letter:

"8-10% of sperm from healthy men are abnormal, some carry the wrong chromosome while others have bits and pieces of genetic material out of place."

"Because a child conceived by intoxicated parents was thought to be unhealthy, the ancient cities of Carthage and Sparta had laws prohibiting the use of alcohol by newlyweds."

"The earliest evidence of a link between job occupation and reproductive problems came out in 1860 when a French scientist noted that wives of lead workers were less likely to become pregnant, and if they did were more prone to miscarrying."

"A survey of animal data indicates that paternal (father) exposure to environmental toxins - ranging from recreation drugs to industrial chemicals - apparently contribute to problems ranging from fetal loss and stillbirth to diminished aptitude for learning to perform tasks such as running a maze."

Harvard Health Letter

October, 1992

Other Points from the Harvard Health Letter:

Men who work in aircraft industry or handle paints or chemical solvents have higher risk of producing children with brain tumors.

"Father exposure to paints linked to childhood Leukemias."

Firemen appear to produce an unusually high number of abnormal sperm and be less fertile than other males. (This is believed to be due to the toxic smoke formed when carpets, furniture and paints are burned - of which today are made from synthetic/plastic based compounds. Burning plastic at low temperatures creates high levels of the highly toxic compound DIOXIN).


(page 6 of above reference)


Miscarriages warn of genetic damage
90% of fetuses with malformations are spontaneously aborted during early pregnancy. 60% of first trimester spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) have chromosome abnormalities.

Dr. Frank M. Sullivan
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of London

Environmental Health Perspectives
101(Suppl.2):13-18, 1993

Little is known on the reproductive dangers of chemicals
Regarding chemicals in the workplace, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Economic Community (EEC) prepared lists of several thousand chemicals produced in amounts of more than 1000 tons per year and many produced at 10,000 tons/year. "Toxicological data of any type exist for a few hundred and reproductive toxicology data exist for probably 100.
Dr. Frank M. Sullivan
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of London

Environmental Health Perspectives
101(Suppl.2):13-18, 1993

Miscarriage increases from chemical solvents:

The major risk chemicals were:

perchlorethylene (dry cleaning)..... 4.7 times greater risk

trichloroethylene (dry cleaning)..... 3.1 times greater risk

paint thinners ............................... 2.1 times greater risk

paint strippers ............................... 2.1 times greater risk

glycol ethers (found in paints)........ 2.9 times greater risk

Dr. Gayle C. Windham, Ph.D.

Dr. Dennis Shusterman, MD, MPH

School of Public Health

University of California, Berkely

American Journal of Industrial Medicine

Vol. 20:241-259, 1991

Further evidence chemicals damage reproduction

Quotes from Dr. Baranski, Institute of Occupation Medicine, Denmark:

"Risk of infertility increased in females who reported exposures to textile dyes, dry cleaning chemicals, noise, lead, mercury and cadmium."

"There was a significant risk of increased time to conception among women exposed to anti-rust agents, welding, plastic manufacturing, lead, mercury, cadmium, or anesthetic agents."

"There was also an increased risk of delay to conception following male exposure to textile dyes, plastic manufacturing, and welding. Those who unpacked or handled antibiotics had a significant association with delayed pregnancy of at least 12 months."


Dr. Boguslaw Baranski

Institute of Occupational Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark

Conference on the Impact of the Environment and Reproductive Health held in Denmark, September 4, 1991

Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 101(suppl 2), pg. 85, 1993

Biological reasons for infertility: 

Tubal Factors.............................. 36%

Ovulatory Disorders ..................... 33%

Endometriosis.......................... ..... 6%

No known Cause......................... 40%

Dr. David Lindsay

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Lancet, June 18, 1994

Chromosome abnormalities occur in 26% of human
oocytes (eggs) and 10% of sperm.


(above reference)
"Recurrent miscarriage is associated with parental chromosome abnormalities, antiphospholipid antibodies and uterine cavity abnormalities. Premature ovarian failure (inability of ovaries to produce eggs) may be genetically determined or associated with autoimmune disease."


Dr. David Lindsay
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Lancet, June 18, 1994

Jobs working around chemicals increase risk of stillbirth, preterm delivery and small birth weight  in a study of 2,096 mothers and 3,170 fathers

Women working in rubber, plastics or synthetics industry had an 80% greater chance of stillbirth. Father employment in the textile industry (chemical dyes, plastics, formaldehyde, etc.) resulted in their wives having a 90% greater risk of stillbirth. Exposure of the father to the chemicals polyvinyl alcohol and benzene (found in gasoline, cleaning solvents, adhesives and oil based paints) was associated with a 50% increase in preterm delivery. 

Study funded by the March of Dimes
Drs. David A. Savitz, Elizabeth A. Whelan and Robert C. Kleckner
School of Public Health, University of NC

American Journal of Epidemiology
Vol. 129(6):1201-1218, 1989

Chemicals found to mimic human estrogens
A proper balance of natural estrogens in the body is essential for reproductive success. However, reports have been suggesting that environmental estrogens (chemicals which "mimic" our natural estrogens) are creating infertility problems by confusing the body's estrogen receptors. Some pesticides have already been shown to be environmental estrogens. New research shows that more chemicals are being found to be environmental estrogens including the food additives butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) Other chemicals found to be somewhat estrogenic include, PVC plastics.
Dr. Susan Jobling, Tracey Reynolds, Roger White, Malcolm G. Parker, and John Sumpter

Department of Biology and Biochemistry Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology
Brunel University, London

Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 103:582-587, 1995