We have learnt to inhale the toxic air, eat the pesticide laden food and also let these chemicals seep through the layers of our skin over the years. Pollution is everywhere today. With industrial waste being dumped into oceans, toxins are now entering our system from the very lower layers of the eco-system and food chain.
But what has emerged probably too late is the impediment pollution is toward fertility.
How pollution affects fertility?
As per the journal 'Environmental Health Perspectives’ pollution impacts us via chemicals like PCB orperchlorinated biphenyls. This is an industrial compound that is commonly used in pesticides too. Though the usage of the same has been stopped, it still remains to impact people. Research shows that it has reduced fertility rates in both men and women by 29%.
Air pollution is researched to be the major cause of male infertility. In fact, research shows that male workers who tend to inhale higher levels of concentrated pollution are more prone to higher free radical levels in their body. In turn, their fertility rates, sperm quality, etc. are highly affected because of these chemicals.
Pregnancy and Miscarriage
Not only is conception an issue, but it has been seen that children born to pregnant women, who were exposed to higher pollution levels, have lower birth rates. A study revealed that about 9.1% infants were born below ideal birth rate. It also meant that premature birth rates increased due to pollution levels. 7.4% kids were born prematurely due to higher O3 or levels of ozone exposure in the air. Airborne particulate matter, which is commonly known as PM10 affects the fetus tremendously during the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) exposure is one of the worst things that can affect pregnant women.
Can being away help?
Sadly being away from all kinds of environmental pollutants is really not possible. No matter how far you go, there is some sort of pollution affecting you be it air, water, noise or other sources of pollution. A study reveals that 2,500 women were reportedly had issues with fertility because of pollution. 11% women and men were at higher infertility risks when they lived within a 200-meter radius from across roadway constructions. So yes staying away from polluted areas helps, because even though it may have a small impact - pollution is affecting your life in a negative way.
A global issue
Instead of going down, pollution levels are only increasing drastically and it is now affected global health. In particular, countries like Brazil and China have reportedly see high smog periods that have resulted in poor fertility rates. In particular, areas with high population density are prone to concentrated pollution with more vehicles and automobiles being used for transportation means. Areas that are home to steel, coal and other industrial belts are more prone to such pollution exposure. The World Health Organisation(WHO) has been concerned over the negative impact of pollution on both men and women fertility along with risks of miscarriage.
Does pollution affect both men and women?
Yes, pollution is now a problem impacting both men and women. In fact, WHO has indicated that pollution is largely a global problem generating health concerns among children and adults.
What can be done?
Sadly, there is not much to do here except in making an honest and dedicated effort towards reducing pollution levels. It is something that humanity has to take a step towards. If not, then coming generations are going to be negatively impacted because of pollution in terms of fertility and healthier pregnancies too.