Do household flame retardant items reduce IVF success rate?

You may surprise to know that flame retardants commonly obtain from household items are the culprit of the IVF success reduction rate. Organophosphate flame retardants are used on furniture, gym mats, and other household products. A research finding first indicated that organophosphate flame retardants interfere with the female reproductive outcome.  The researcher of this study analyzed the urine sample of the women who had undergone IVF treatment and the study result reported that the finding of Metabolic products of organophosphate flame retardants in the urine sample.

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The researcher was concerned about the association of these chemicals with substantial reductions in the IVF success rate, which leads to reduce the scope of having a baby. However, this study finding had not suggested any link to these chemicals with female infertility.

Organophosphate flame retardants are mostly used in household items due to it had considered as a safer alternative of previous flame retardants. Organophosphate flame retardants are the alternative option of the previously used flame retardant PentaBDE.

But a decade ago, PentaBDE containing polyurethane foam was banned after a finding of a linkage of this chemical with negative health impacts in animal and epidemiologic studies.

But gradually it has come to know that organophosphate flame retardants also have a negative epidemiological impact that affects health. The air and dust particles inside the house can trap the chemicals of flame retardants, which then disrupt hormones and embryo development in animals.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston conducted the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) study in 2017. In this study, 211 women were enrolled who had undergone IVF cycle from 2005 to 2015. The researchers of this study had analyzed the urine sample.

The study result found five types of organophosphate flame retardants metabolites in urine samples. Among these five urinary organophosphate flame retardants metabolites, three were present in more than 80% of women.

The IVF success rate among the study participants was dependent on urinary levels of organophosphate flame retardants metabolites. Higher organophosphate flame retardants metabolite levels significantly declined IVF outcomes compared to those with the lowest levels.

The significant negative impact was prominent as the study result reported 10% of fertilization reduction, a 31% of implantation reduction, 41% of clinical pregnancy reduction and 38% of live births reduction. Therefore, experts suggested that exposure to the flame retardants in the household could be one of the risk factors which declines the reproductive success rate. It is high time to search for a safer alternative of these flame retardants to reduce the use of these chemicals.

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