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Fertility & Reproductive Health News
2 Feb 'BPA-free' plastic accelerates embryonic development, disrupts reproductive system. A new study demonstrates that BPS, a common replacement for BPA, speeds up embryonic development and disrupts the reproductive system. The research is the first to examine the effects of BPA and BPS on key brain cells and genes that control organs involved in reproduction. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Actions of bisphenol A and bisphenol S on the reproductive neuroendocrine system during early development in zebrafish]


28 Jan Eating soy may protect women from health risks of BPA. Consuming soy regularly may protect women who are undergoing infertility treatments from poor success rates linked to bisphenol A exposure, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. EurekAlert!
[See the study; Soy intake modifies the relation between urinary bisphenol A concentrations and pregnancy outcomes among women undergoing assisted reproduction]


25 Jan Perfluoroalkyl substances, sex hormones, and insulin-like growth factor-1 at 6-9 years of age: a cross-sectional analysis within the C8 Health Project. To our knowledge, this is the first study suggesting that PFAS are associated with lower levels of IGF-1 and sex hormones in young children. Environmental Health Perspectives.

21 Jan Air pollution and traffic fumes tied to infertility risk. Women who live close to major highways where the air is polluted by traffic exhaust fumes may be slightly more likely to have fertility problems than women who live further away where the air is cleaner, a U.S. study suggests. Reuters.
[See the study: Adult air pollution exposure and risk of infertility in the Nurses' Health Study II]


20 Jan Exposure to airborne particulate matter during pregnancy is associated with preterm birth: a population-based cohort study. Exposure to high levels of particulate air pollution, PM 2.5 , in pregnancy is associated with a 19 % increased risk of PTB; with greatest risk with high 3rd trimester exposure. Environmental Health.

Fertility/Reproductive Health
Working Group

CHE's Fertility & Reproductive Health Working Group convenes over 450 diverse members around environmental impacts on fertility and reproductive health. The goal of this dynamic conversation is to discern what the science is telling us, where the research gaps are, and how we can effectively support and promote science-based education and action. Read more...

If you would like to join and are already a CHE Partner, send us an email request. Or become a CHE Partner and indicate your interest in your application.

For more information, please contact Karin Russ at karin@healthandenvironment.org.

WHAT'S NEW

Highlights, January 2016

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New publications of interest:

Determinants of plasma PCB, brominated flame retardants, and organochlorine pesticides in pregnant women and 3 year old children
Age, low parity, and low pre-pregnant BMI were the most important determinants of increased plasma concentrations of POPs in pregnant women. In 3 year old children, prolonged breastfeeding duration was a major determinant of increased POP concentrations. Estimated dietary exposure to PCBs during pregnancy was positively associated with plasma concentrations in 3 year old children, but not in pregnant women. Plasma concentrations were approximately 40% higher in children compared to pregnant women. Several factors associated with exposure and toxicokinetics, i.e. accumulation, excretion and transfer via breastmilk of POPs were the main predictors of POP levels in pregnant women and children. Diet, which is the main exposure source for these compounds in the general population, was found to predict PCB levels only among children. For the PBDEs, for which non-dietary sources are more important, toxicokinetic factors appeared to have less predictive impact. Environmental Research.

Effects of prenatal exposure to cadmium on neurodevelopment of infants in Shandong, China
Although animal studies suggested that prenatal cadmium exposure can cause neurodevelopmental deficits, little is explored in human populations, or its mechanism. Maternal blood cadmium concentration (median, 1.24 μg/L) was negatively associated with social domain DQs and BDNF levels in cord serum. A 10-fold increase in maternal cadmium levels was associated with a 5.70-point decrease in social domain DQs, a 4.31-point decrease in BDNF levels. BDNF levels were positively associated with social domain DQs. These data suggest thatprenatal low-level cadmium exposure has adverse effects on neurodevelopment. BDNF may play an important role in the decline of social domain DQs induced by prenatal low-level cadmium exposure. Environmental Pollution.

Distribution and Predictors of Pesticides in the Umbilical Cord Blood of Chinese Newborns
Rates of pesticide use in Chinese agriculture are five times greater than the global average, leading to high exposure via the diet. Previous studies of prenatal exposure in China focused almost entirely on organochlorines. Here the study goals were to characterize the exposure of Chinese newborns to all classes of pesticides and identify predictors of those exposures. Eighty-four pesticides and 12 metabolites were measured in the umbilical cord plasma of 336 infants. The mean number of detects per sample was 15.3. Increased pesticide detects were found in the cord blood of infants born in the summer. Associations were more striking for overall pesticide exposure than for individual pesticides, highlighting the importance of considering exposure to mixtures of pesticides, rather than individual agents or classes. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Associations between maternal phenolic exposure and cord sex hormones in male newborns
Early life exposure to phenolic endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) is known to disrupt hormonal activities and affect reproductive development in males. However, studies on the health effects of prenatal human exposure are scarce. This was a cross-sectional study to investigate the association between maternal phenolic exposure and cord sex steroid hormones and AGD in male newborns. High maternal urinary Bisphenol A (BPA) levels are associated with decreases in cord testosterone levels and the ratio of testosterone to estradiol in male newborns, but there was no significant association with anogenital distance (AGD). Testosterone plays an important role in sex differentiation and normal development of the fetus and newborn, and the balance between testosterone and estradiol is thought an important mediator of prostate disease. Therefore, our findings may have important implications for human reproductive health. Human Reproduction.

Maternal exposure to traffic-related air pollution and birth defects in Massachusetts
Exposures to particulate matter with diameter of 2.5µm or less (PM2.5) may influence risk of birth defects. We estimated associations between maternal exposure to prenatal traffic-related air pollution and risk of cardiac, orofacial, and neural tube defects among Massachusetts births conceived 2001 through 2008. There were positive but non-significant associations for a 10µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 and perimembranous ventricular septal defects, patent foramen ovale and patent ductus arteriosus. There was a non-significant inverse association between PM2.5 and cleft lip with or without palate, cleft palate only and neural tube defects. Results for traffic related exposure were similar. Only ostium secundum atrial septal defects displayed significant spatial variation after accounting for known risk factors. Environmental Research.

A Simple Pharmacokinetic Model of Prenatal and Postnatal Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)
Most children are exposed to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) through placental transfer, breastfeeding, and other environmental sources. We developed a pharmacokinetic model consisting of a maternal and a child compartment to simulate lifetime exposure in women and transfer to the child across the placenta and through breastfeeding. To evaluate the model, we performed simulations for each mother-child dyad from two studies in which maternal PFAS levels at delivery and children's PFAS levels were available. Model predictions based on maternal PFAS levels, sex of child, body weight, and duration of breastfeeding explained between 52% and 60% of the variability in measured children's levels at 6 months of age and between 52% and 62% at 36 months. Monte Carlo simulations showed that the daily intake through breastfeeding and resulting internal PFAS levels can be much higher in nursing infants than in mothers. This pharmacokinetic model shows potential for postnatal exposure assessment in the context of epidemiological studies and risk assessment. Environmental Science Technology.

See a searchable calendar with events of interest to this working group.

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Past Calls

October 30, 2015 --

CHE Partnership Call - Reducing the Burden: International Reproductive Health Leaders Call for Greater Efforts to Prevent Toxic Chemical Exposure, New Opinion from FIGO
Background Information/Resources

Q&A/Comments
Listen to the MP3 recording

September 22, 2015 --

CHE Partnership Call - CHE Fertility Working Group call: A Good Start Lasts a Lifetime: Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Textbook Release
Background Information / Resources

Q&A Comments
Listen to the MP3 recording

June 30, 2015 --

CHE Fertility Working Group call: News from the US EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program
Background Information / Resources

Q&A/Comments
Listen to the MP3 recording

February 25, 2015 --

CHE Fertility Working Group call: Placental Toxicants and Disruption to Development
Background Information / Resources

Q&A/Comments
Listen to the MP3 recording

September 30, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - CHE Fertility Working Group call: Prenatal Exposures: What Do Providers Know?
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

 

November 21, 2013 --

CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Group call: Presidents on Prevention
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

November 8, 2013 --

CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Group call: Endocrine Disruptors and Reproductive Health Across the Lifespan
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

October 3, 2013 --

CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Group call: Preconception Risk Reduction
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

September 18, 2013 --

CHE Alaska call: Asking the Right Questions: Are Women of Childbearing Age at Risk of Exposure to Multiple Pollutants
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

June 6, 2013 --

CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health call: Stress as an Endocrine Disruptor: Maternal Psychosocial Stress During Pregnancy and Fetal Development
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

February 7, 2013 --

CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health call: Superfund Contaminants and Reproduction
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

September 20, 2012 --

CHE Fertility call: The Male Factor: Environment, Development and Fertility

Background Information / Resources
Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

May 21, 2012 --

CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health and CHE EMF working groups call: EMF and Reproductive Health Risks
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

 

March 19, 2012 --

CHE Fertility call: Environmental Contributors to Preterm Birth
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

November 18, 2011 --
CHE Fertility call: Integrating Environmental Health Into Clinical Practice
Background Information / Resources
Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording
May 26, 2011 --
CHE Fertility call: Finding Your Voice: Advocacy for Healthcare Professionals
Background Information / Resources
Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording
March 17, 2011 --

CHE Fertility call: Effects of BPA on In Vitro Fertilization
Background Information / Resources
Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

November 16, 2010 --

CHE Fertility call: Environmental Exposures and Early Onset of Puberty
Background Information / Resources
Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

May 25, 2010 --
CHE-Fertility call: Elevating the Issue: the Emerging CDC National Action Plan on Infertility
Background Information / Resources
Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording
April 15, 2010 --
CHE-Fertility Call: Flame Retardants: Emerging Science and Policy Considerations
Background Information / Resources
Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording
February 10, 2010 --

Chemicals and Reproductive Health: The Male Predicament
(11 AM PT / 2 PM ET)

January 14, 2010 --
CHE-Fertility Call: Disinfectants Overkill: Antimicrobials and Reproductive Health
Background Information / Resources
Call Blog
October 28, 2009 --

CHE Fertility Call: What Does the Environment Have to Do With Medicine? Reporting Back From a Premier Reproductive Society Conference
Background Information / Resources
Listen to the MP3 Recording

 

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