Yourwellness Magazine Explores Impact of Environmental Toxins on Fertility

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With the ACOG issuing a warning about the risks of environmental toxins to pregnant women and foetuses, Yourwellness Magazine explored research into how PCB exposure affects male fertility.

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The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) have issued a strong warning about the risks of environmental toxins to pregnant women and foetuses, The Atlantic reported September 26th. According to the article, “An Official Statement on Environmental Toxins and Pregnancy,” the group is also going so far as to urge individual doctors to advocate for policy changes to protect women and babies from exposure. The ACOG wrote, ‘The scientific evidence over the last 15 years shows that exposure to toxic environmental agents before conception and during pregnancy can have significant and long-lasting effects on reproductive health.’ (

With this in mind, Yourwellness Magazine investigated whether environmental toxins have any affect on male fertility. Yourwellness Magazine looked into a study which found an association between Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and other environmental chemicals to sperm abnormalities and male infertility. Yourwellness Magazine commented that human exposure to the toxin appears to be primarily through food, and the men taking part in the study who had higher levels of PCBs and DDE in their blood stream had significantly higher rates of sperm disomy – a condition where sperm cells have an abnormal number of chromosomes. The study, “Environmental Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls and p,p´-DDE and Sperm Sex-Chromosome Disomy,” was published December 21st 2011 in Environmental Health Perspectives.(

Yourwellness Magazine also noted the views of lead researcher Melissa Perry ScD MHS, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services, who explained, ‘This research adds to the already existing body of evidence suggesting that environmental exposure to certain chemicals can affect male fertility and reproduction. We need to further understand the mechanisms through which these chemicals impact sperm. While we cannot avoid chemicals that already persist in the environment, it is imperative that decisions about putting biologically active chemicals into the environment need to be made very carefully, because there can be unanticipated consequences down the road.’ (

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Michael Kitt
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