New test finds more than 50 common chemicals may be linked to infertility

By Lydia Larsen

Using a new testing tool, US researchers said this week they have found more than 50 chemicals that pose a strong risk to fertility, including chemicals used in plastic water bottles and other common products.

The study, published Monday in Reproductive Toxicology, detailed a newly developed method for testing chemical toxicity, a tool the researchers said is badly needed because tens of thousands of chemicals used in household and commercial products have not been evaluated for their potential toxicities towards human health.

“This data shows that we need to be acting more quickly on some of these chemicals to which people are being exposed,” said Tracey Woodruff, a professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and an author of the new study.

General fertility rates in the United States have been declining, hitting a historic low in 2022, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers have known that certain types of chemicals are at least partly to blame for the declining fertility, but understanding the root causes of the problem has been difficult.