The LifeSaver project’s multidisciplinary research will not only change what we know about the placenta and its role in protecting our unborn children; it aims to illuminate more the role that environmental toxins and pollutants play in prenatal health.
This begs the question about the effects of environmental pollutants on fetal health and fertility in general. Research has posited worrying correlations between global fertility reduction and environmental pollutants.
More and more couples, particularly in developed nations, are reporting difficulty conceiving. The evidence is convincing that metals, chemicals and other pollutants such as microplastics, found in food, water, air, and health and cosmetic products adversely affect fertility in a variety of ways. Men’s sperm count and function are steadily declining as a result of these toxins, while women’s anovulation, implantation problems, and loss of embryonic viability are getting progressively worse.
Environmental pollutants affect fertility commonly in 4 different ways disturbing:
- Hormonal disruption (endocrine system)
- The female reproductive system
- The male reproductive system
- Reduced viability of the fetus
Organochlorine substances (chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and
dioxins), bisphenol A (BPA), and organophosphate insecticides and herbicides are
examples of the worst known fertility disruptors. Nevertheless, a lot of other chemicals, metals, and air pollution adversely harm fertility.
The author of the book “Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts,Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperilling the Future of the Human Race,” Dr Shanna Swan, has been at the forefront of this research topic. Major news outlets worldwide: The Guardian, The Conversation, The New York Times and many more have featured pieces on her theories in the last few years.
In terms of female fertility, research shows microplastics are incredibly harmful as
endocrine disruptors. Microplastics may in particular contain Bisphenol A (BPA) and
phthalates – the elements that can substantially upset the hormonal system. The
hormones entirely control fertility; if these are dysregulated, so is fertility. Studies also
show environmental toxins like microplastics can increase the chances of a miscarriage.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences conducted a study that
examined the levels of specific chemicals in men’s and women’s blood and urine before they started trying to conceive and looked for links between exposure to particular chemicals and the length of time couples took to become pregnant (if they did conceive). Among these were perfluorochemicals (PFCs), which can make things fire and stain-resistant, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which were utilised as coolants for electrical equipment up until their ban in 1979 (among other applications). The researchers did not examine substances with shorter half-lives, such as phthalates and bisphenol A.
Rising Infertility and the Effects of Microplastics
Males are considered infertile if they have less than 15 million sperm per millilitre. In
Western nations, the average sperm count in the 1970s was 99 million per millilitre, but by 2011, this figure had fallen to 47 million. According to experts, the chemicals in the plastic we use every day may be to blame for this. Studies conducted on rodents have shown alarming links between reduced fertility and microplastics.
Endocrine disruptors, particualrly referred to as phthalates and bisphenols, have become increasingly common in the everyday items we use. The list of products these chemicals appear in—dishware, cans, containers, water bottles and more—seems endless. They can also be found in glass lenses, furniture, electronics, and herbicides used to cultivate our food.
Microplastics discovered in the placenta were examined in a study published in the
journal Science of The Total Environment. In addition to the air, food, and organs,
microplastics have lately been discovered in human blood for the first time. According to scientists, all of this and other toxins that are getting into our bodies could be the root cause of humankind’s rising infertility rates.
What Can We Do to Limit Exposure to Environmental Pollutants While Trying to
Environmental pollutants have become a worrying and ubiquitous presence in our lives. What can we do to mitigate the risks of microplastics affecting our fertility and general health? Firstly, education and gathering credible, well-sourced research can help us become more aware of how to reduce the presence of microplastics in our daily lives.
How the LifeSaver Project is Removing Barriers to Help Couples Trying to
The LifeSaver vision sees every pregnant woman with a proper living environment
and zero risks to the fetus. The project addresses the presently unmet societal and
healthcare needs by creating a validated scientific knowledge base for implementing and developing regulatory approaches relevant to fetal and maternal health.
The goal is to create a new, digitally cloned in vitro system for emulating prenatal
conditions capable of predicting the risk of substances toward unborn babies. The
LifeSaver Project recognises that women can suffer from many conditions but also
from the negative effects of environmental pollutants like contaminants and chemicals.
Currently, there is no conclusive way to ensure the efficacy and safety of a biomedical
product other than testing it on humans through clinical assessment. Unfortunately,
because of the unknown and potentially harmful effects of testing these products on a developing fetus, only 1 percent of all clinical trials in the US consider pregnant women. This means 98 percent exclude them.