Oct 22, 2016 | Updated: 09:37 AM EST

Research Ties Air Pollution To Infertility

Jan 22, 2016 01:27 AM EST

It has been known that air pollution caused by vehicles and factories can have adverse effects to someone's health. However, a newly released study revealed that it can have a greater effect on women, as it tends to increase their chances of being infertile.

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Various researchers from different universities and health organizations across the United States have conducted a study to prove that there is a link between these harmful emissions and fertility. The researchers followed and examined data from over 36,000 women during a 10-year period starting 1993 and ended in 2003. They also analyzed the information about the traffic exhaust fumes near their homes to identify whether the pollution they inhaled have affected their fertility.

All throughout the study period, 2500 new infertility-related cases were reported to them. The team of researchers were also able to figure out that women who lived near a major roadway, like a highway or a freeway, during the time of the research were at least 11 percent more likely to become infertile compared to those who lived further.

According to an email sent by study leader Dr. Shruthi Mahalingaiah, a researcher at Boston University School of Medicine, the risks are only slight. However, Dr. Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, a researcher at the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, stated that even though the risks are slight, it can still pose a massive global public health issue.

He also added that it may not matter to a woman since her risks of being infertile only slightly increased, but in a society where lots of women are vulnerable to air pollution every single day of their lives, it is life-threatening. To have a further look at the link, the researchers studied the particular matter and primary infertility.

After a thorough analysis of the data provided by the women, they were able to discover that those who lived near the road reported 5 percent primary infertility and 21 percent secondary infertility, both higher than those reported among women who lived far from the road.

Dr. Sajal Gupta, a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio who wasn't involved in the study, stated that even though the study still lacks important pointers on some parts, it shows how important it is for couples to choose their residential locations when they're trying to conceive children.

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