Most Americans don’t realize the simple act of pouring a glass of water, using their favorite shampoo, or wearing a rain jacket can impact their chances of having children.
Infertility is on the rise in the United States, affecting one out of every eight couples. It’s a sobering reality that touches the lives of women and men almost equally.
One of the lesser-known culprits are chemicals used in commercial products, which are linked to infertility and other serious health outcomes like thyroid disease, cancer, preeclampsia, and immune dysfunction.
Its official names are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS), but are also known as “forever chemicals” since they don’t break down or degrade over time. They’re found in hundreds of everyday products and are prevalent in the drinking water of more than 200 million Americans.
Products containing PFAS are in everything from water-resistant fabrics to personal care items and food. Though exposure via drinking water is having a measurable effect on U.S. fertility rates.
A 2020 analysis stated that PFAS contamination in America’s drinking water has been “dramatically underestimated” in previous studies, including those done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
PFAS was also detected in the blood of 97 percent of U.S. residents, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, which used data from a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
And fertility experts say high PFAS exposure can drastically impact someone’s chances of having children.
“There’s definitely an increase in infertility,” Dr. Jane Frederick told The Epoch Times.
Frederick has specialized in reproductive endocrinology and infertility for the past 30 years. She’s currently the Medical Director of HRC Fertility in Orange County, California.
She has observed a number of factors contributing to America’s escalating fertility crisis but noted the impact of PFAS on reproductive health shouldn’t be underestimated.
“The problem with them [PFAS] is they can pollute your water system,” she said, adding the overall lack of testing for PFAS is an issue. “We need more studies. We need to be testing our water more in communities.”