In a discussion on environmental factors in reproduction during this year’s 18th World Congress of the Academy of Human Reproduction, Andrzej Milewicz alluded to a number of potential threats to female fertility, including perfume, cologne, and lipstick.
These are what are known as endocrine disruptors, chemicals that can interfere with the endocrine system and cause cancerous tumours, birth defects, and other developmental disorders, when exposed at certain doses.
“You could call it a toxic kiss because the person on the receiving end could also be consuming the endocrine disruptors. You could even call it a castrated kiss. This indicates just how endocrine disruptors can reach us everywhere and it is a really serious problem”, Professor Milewicz asserted.
“The most common endocrine disruptor is Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is one of the most common plasticisers. It was first invented in 1891 and was discovered as an oestrogen in 1936. It is especially prevalent as a component used in rigid plastic products, such as dental materials, cosmetics, food and beverage containers”, be continued.
While Biphenol-A is banned from baby bottles and even for use in many medical items due to side effects, it still remains present in everyday life.
However, positive steps are being taken to reduce the number of endocrine disruptors we are exposed to every day, for instance, the European Parliament’s decision to ban endocrine disruptors by 2021.
The female gamete seems to be especially sensitive to BPA exposure and it has been linked with an increased risk of breast cancer and to the contribution of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), as PCOS patients were found to have had elevated BPA levels in a cross-sectional study of 71 women.
The professor concluded his address by alluding to another hurdle relating to BPA; the research is very expensive, which means that studies in his lab have so far been kept small.