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Is Your Shampoo Keeping You From Having Babies?
A growing body of evidence suggests that all manner of chemicals in our environment are interfering with both men's and women's ability to have kids. So far, most of the chemicals known as hormone disruptors, which act like sex hormones and can interfere with bodily levels of estrogen and testosterone, have been implicated. For a new study published in the journal Toxicology Letters, Italian researchers zeroed in on the most commonly used phthalate, DEHP, used in plastics to keep them soft and flexible, as well as the second most common, DEP, used to keep fragrances from dissipating from personal care products, scented candles, laundry detergents, and the like. The authors measured urine samples from 56 couples who were seeking fertility treatments and an equal number of couples who had successfully had children. Both the men and the women in the couples seeking fertility treatments had higher levels of phthalates in their urine than the couples with children did.