Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

PCBs, other pollutants may play role in pregnancy delay

Date:
November 14, 2012
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Summary:
Couples with high levels of PCBs and similar environmental pollutants take longer to achieve pregnancy in comparison to other couples with lower levels of the pollutants, according to a preliminary study.

Couples with high levels of PCBs and similar environmental pollutants take longer to achieve pregnancy in comparison to other couples with lower levels of the pollutants, according to a preliminary study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Related Articles


PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are chemicals that have been used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment. They are part of a category of chemicals known as persistent organochlorine pollutants and include industrial chemicals and chemical byproducts as well as pesticides. In many cases, the compounds are present in soil, water, and in the food chain. The compounds are resistant to decay, and may persist in the environment for decades. Some, known as persistent lipophilic organochlorine pollutants, accumulate in fatty tissues. Another type, called perfluorochemicals, are used in clothing, furniture, adhesives, food packaging, heat-resistant non-stick cooking surfaces, and the insulation of electrical wire.

Exposure to these pollutants is known to have a number of effects on human health, but their effects on human fertility-- and the likelihood of couples achieving pregnancy-- have not been extensively studied.

"Our findings suggest that persistent organochlorine pollutants may play a role in pregnancy delay," said the study's first author, Germaine Buck Louis, Ph.D., director of the Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at NIH.

Dr. Buck Louis added that individuals may limit their exposure by removing and avoiding the fat of meat and fish, and by limiting the consumption of animal products.

The study was published online in Environmental Health Perspectives. In addition to researchers at the NICHD, the study also included investigators from the Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Emory University, Atlanta, and The EMMES Corp., Rockville, Md.

To conduct the study, the researchers enrolled 501 couples from four counties in Michigan, and 12 counties in Texas, from 2005 to 2009. The couples were part of the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) study, established to examine the relationship between fertility and exposure to environmental chemicals and lifestyle. An earlier analysis from the LIFE study found that high blood levels of lead and cadmium also were linked to pregnancy delay.

The women taking part in the study ranged from 18 to 44 years of age, and the men were over 18. Couples provided blood samples for the analysis of organochlorines (PCBs) and perfluorochemicals (PFCs). Women kept journals to record their monthly menstrual cycles and the results of home pregnancy tests. The couples were followed until pregnancy or for up to one year of trying.

The researchers calculated the probability that a couple would achieve pregnancy by using a statistical measure called the fecundability odds ratio (FOR). The measure estimates couples' probability of pregnancy each cycle, based on their blood concentration of the compounds. A ratio less than one suggests a longer time to pregnancy, while a ratio greater than one suggests a shorter time to pregnancy.

The researchers examined PCB congeners, which are single, unique well-defined chemical compounds in the PCB category.

The lowest FORs were seen for couples in which the females were exposed to PCB congener 167 (FOR 0.79); and in which the males were exposed to PCB congener 138 (FOR=0.71). For each standardized increase in chemical concentration the researchers measured, the odds of pregnancy declined by 18 to 21 percent for females exposed to PCB congeners 118, 167, 209, and the perfluorchemical, perfluorooctane sulfonamide. Perfluorooctane sulfonamide is one of a broad class of compounds known as perfluoroalkyls, which have been used in fire fighting foams.

With increasing exposure, the odds for pregnancy declined by 17 to 29 percent for couples in which males were exposed to PCB congeners 138, 156, 157, 167, 170, 172, and 209 and to DDE, produced when the pesticide DDT degrades in the environment. DDT is banned for use in the United States, but is still used in some countries.

The investigators noted that they cannot rule out that some of the delays they observed may have been due to exposure to multiple chemicals. They added that these associations would need to be confirmed by other researchers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zablotska LB, Bazyka D, Lubin JH, Gudzenko N, Little MP, Hatch M, Finch S, Dyagil I, Reiss RF, Chumak VV, Bouville A, Drozdovitch V, Kryuchkov VP, Golovanov I, Bakhanova E, Babkina N, Lubarets T, Bebeshko E, Romanenko A, Mabuchi K. Radiation and the Risk of Chronic Lymphocytic and Other Leukemias among Chornobyl Cleanup Workers. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2012; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1204996

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "PCBs, other pollutants may play role in pregnancy delay." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121114084027.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2012, November 14). PCBs, other pollutants may play role in pregnancy delay. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121114084027.htm
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "PCBs, other pollutants may play role in pregnancy delay." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121114084027.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins