You might have heard of a chemical called BPA. Maybe you have seen a “BPA Free” label on a reusable water bottle. But did you know that BPA is just one chemical that is part of a much larger group known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs? EDCs are everywhere. They are in most food packaging, cosmetics, shampoo, and even in antibacterial soap! But now scientists are starting to understand that these chemicals could be the cause of many health problems, including reproductive problems.
In this study we reviewed the scientific research looking at EDCs and reproduction in both fish and mammals. We wanted to understand what the research said about how these chemicals impact reproductive systems. The studies we reviewed used laboratory animals to better understand reproduction in fish and mammals. What we found was quite worrying. There is lots of evidence to show that EDCs can cause changes in how the reproductive system develops and grows. There is also evidence that EDCs have long-term impacts including fertility problems and reduced reproductive success.