We use so many cleansers and similar products around the home it can be easy to overlook their potential negative effects. While many of them contain chemicals that won’t cause harm at low levels of exposure, there are some everyday products that may damage your fertility. These are known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and include such widely used compounds as Bisphenol A, phthalates, and parabens. Research shows EDCs can affect both male and female reproductive health, which can potentially decrease your chance of conception.

To help you avoid the potential dangers of EDCs, here are some easy steps you can take: 

Choose organic produce. Buying organic fruits and vegetables can help you avoid consuming trace amounts of phthalates found in pesticides. To be a more informed shopper, see the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of produce that contain the highest levels of pesticide residue. But whether you buy organic or not, it’s always best to thoroughly rinse your produce before eating to remove residual contaminants.

Avoid plastic containers in the microwave. Takeaway or delivered food often comes in soft plastic containers that contain EDCs that can leach into food. So rather than reheat food in the microwave using these containers, choose glass or china instead. Similarly, avoid soft plastic water or other beverage bottles that contain EDCs especially if they have been exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat. 

Buy “green” cleaning products. Replace cleaning products containing EDCs with those made from natural ingredients you can identify. You can also make your own cleaning products at home using vinegar, water, baking soda, lemon, and essential oils, which are effective and can also help you save money and reduce packaging waste. 

Change your cookware. Using nonstick pots and pans made with Teflon can release EDCs into your food, particularly if the pan surface is scratched or flaking. To avoid this, use cast iron or stainless steel cookware instead. 

Filter your water. Investing in a household water treatment system is a good way to avoid ingesting agricultural, industrial, and pharmaceutical residue often found in tap water. Affordable and effective systems include a glass container with a filter that you fill manually or charcoal or reverse osmosis systems that fit under your sink.

Though it can be difficult to completely avoid products made with EDCs, knowing what to look for can help you make better choices when preparing food or cleaning your home. 

Wee encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider about pre-conception and fertility health. You can also contact our experts at cs@seattlespermbank.com or (206) 588-1484. We are happy to assist with any questions that you have about building your family with donor sperm.

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