Common chemicals found in thousands of household products, cosmetics and food can harm the development of unborn baby boys, an expert warns.
Professor Richard Sharpe, one of Britain’s leading reproductive biologists, says everyday substances are linked to soaring rates of birth defects, testicular cancer, and failing sperm counts.
He warned these hormone-disrupting chemicals were “feminising” boys in the womb.
Sharpe says many could be harmless on their own – but warned that their cumulative effect could be devastating for developing foetuses and warned women trying for a child to avoid them.
“You can’t do anything about chemicals in the environment but you can control what you expose a baby to through your lifestyle choices,” he said.
"Because it is the summation of effect of hormone-disrupting chemicals that is critical, and the number of such chemicals that humans are exposed to is considerable, this provides the strongest possible incentive to minimise human exposure to all relevant hormone disruptors, especially women planning pregnancy, as it is obvious that the higher the exposure the greater the risk."
Elizabeth Salter Green of the charity CHEM Trust, which commissioned Professor Sharpe’s report said: “Chemicals that have been shown to act together to affect male reproductive health should have their risks assessed together.
“Currently that is not the case, and unfortunately chemicals are looked at on an individual basis.”
She advised pregnant women to keep cosmetic use to a minimum, choose unscented products, stop using perfume, avoid colouring hair and DIY.
What do you make of this latest report? Were you cautious whilst pregnant and/or trying to conceive?
By Tasha Usefnia