5 Household Chemicals That Affect Fertility

There are several common chemicals which we use in our houses on a daily basis that can affect fertility, a recent research has confirmed. Most of these chemicals are important ingredients in cosmetic and cleaning products, the only problem is their toxicity can have a negative effect on an individual’s well-being, fertility and family life.

Which is why you have to pay attention to the ingredients in products you buy so it won’t have a negative impact on your reproduction. Here are some of the chemicals found to affect fertility;

1. Cleaning and cosmetic products with fragrance

Artificial fragrances in household and cosmetic products, such as fabric softeners, shampoos, disinfectants, air fresheners and laundry detergents, are often bonded by phthalate esters. These chemicals bond fragrances to clothing and other surfaces, leaving them with a pleasant odor.

Problem is, chemicals can enter the body through skin contact and respiration. The hormone altering effects of phthalate is a major cause of human infertility and miscarriage of early prenancies. Also, it has been linked to low sexual performance, low sperm count and birth deformities. When buying products, check the ingredients for these phthalate ingredients: DBP, DEP, DEHP, Bis 2-ethylhexyl, BzBP and DMP.

2. Grease-cutting cleaning agents

Solvents contained in many carpet, oven, glass and surface cleaners, contain the substance EGBE or 2-butoxyethanol, which is a major grease-cutting ingredient. Some lab tests have shown that this chemical cause fertility problems in animals. Although the skin cannot easily absorb these substances, it is advised that you cover your body and nose when using them to avoid body contact with them. High level of exposure can lead to reduced fertility both in males and females.

3. Products containing parabens

Many products like moisturizers, shaving gel and lubricants are preserved with parabens. However, studies have shown that over-exposure to such preservatives can reduce sperm count, negatively affect fertility and increase aging of the skin.

4. Products with non-stick surfaces

Many of the packaged food containers, non-stick cookware, non-stick bathroom cleaners and treated clothing contain PFOAs (perfluorooctanoate) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate). And these chemicals negatively affect fertility, liver and kidney functions.

5. Antibacterial and foam-forming products

Products like soaps, shampoos, washing soap, bathing soap toothpaste, cleaning agents and any other product that foams have a major ingredient called Anionic surfactants (e.g sodium laureth sulfate). And these substances contain chemical elements called nitrosamines that are linked to low sperm count, cancers and reproductive hormone disturbances.

Also the chemical triclosan, found in some toothpastes, gels, and antibacterial hand washes, has been linked to a weakened immune system, birth defects and decreased fertility.

It is unfortunate that many of the things we use these days contain chemicals and even though we don’t consume them we still inhale them and have bodily contact with them. We therefore have to find ways to find natural alternatives to household products and personal care.

Also, read the label of whatever product you want to buy and identify that any of these above chemicals are not used. You can substitute some cleaning agents with baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice. For face mask, you can use alvocado and honey for face mask, natural oils like coconut and olive as moisturizers.

Finding alternatives can be tasking, but let’s make step to living healthy. Baby dusts to you Mamalette!

More Stories You’ll Love

My Child Died By My Hands

Sometimes in life, we wish we can turn back the hands of time and change things, but there’s nothing I can do to bring back my dead son, worse still, I have no other child since his death. If he were alive, Aramide should be clocking 4 years old today. I remember the day he met his Maker and the details of his death as if it were yesterday, the sight of his bloodied body haunts me at night. There are days I wake up screaming from nightmares with his name in my mouth. “Aramide! Aramide! Don’t go!” I would scream with my hands stretched as if to bring him back, then wake up with tear filled eyes and hands outstretched.  

No, I didn’t stab him to death with a kitchen knife or anything gory like that. That fateful afternoon, my mother came from Owo to Lagos to see her grandchild, so we picked her up from the park. Aramide was in his car seat in the front seat, while my mother was at the back, he started crying while touching his left foot, my mother picked him up from his car seat so she can see what was pinching him in the foot.

She found that a hair strand was tied to his toe, I was surprised “How did that happen? I’m on low cut so that hair is definitely not mine” I replied

I can’t remember the details of what happened next, I took off my eyes from the road for a minute to see the hair my mom was talking about and when I returned my eyes to the road, I saw I was running into the mouth of the incoming trailer, I skidded and went back to my lane, too late!

The car was off the road and it kept going until something stopped it. I blacked out.

When I opened my eyes, I found myself at the hospital and the first thing I asked was

“What happened?” “Where’s my son”

The injury to me and my mom was mild because we were belted down, the look on my husband’s face changed when I asked about our son.

He answered with a hoarse voice “Get well soon so you can see him”

“Well I’m fine now and I want to see him immediately” I said and immediately removed the needle supplying drips to my body, it stung but I couldn’t feel the pain.

I just knew something wasn’t right, something told me my baby is gone but I didn’t want to believe it, before I could get out of the hospital bed, my husband held me back, “He’s no more, Aramide is dead” he said and burst into tears.

I slumped and black out again. I woke up the third day, “Is she awake?”I could hear my mom saying weakly beside the bed. I woke up with tears in my eyes “We killed him, we did!” I kept saying.

I was discharged from the hospital but I never remained the same again, my mom was ridden with guilt too, she became terribly ill, and at her sick bed, she kept saying “I shouldn’t have come here” I didn’t dispute that, I kept hammering on “We killed her”

Needless to say, the guilt killed her, she died a week after the death of Ara and I became even more sad. I should have reassured her, I should have told her it’s not her fault.

I know I didn’t kill my mom, no, I didn’t, she died of heartache, but my son died by my hand, if only I had made sure he was safely tucked in in his baby car seat, if only I had pulled over to examine what was hurting him, I would still have my sweet baby with me right now.

Now the boy keeps coming to me in my dreams, he keeps tormenting my soul, I want closure, I want to forget, but how can I when I see him in my waking and sleeping moments? I can’t even try to get pregnant in this state of mind.

I don’t want to die of heart-ache, I don’t want to end up like my mom. How do I achieve closure, how do I tell myself it’s not my fault? Please help!


Please ensure your children wear seat belt while inside your car, share this article on Facebook, Twitter or Whatsapp so your friends can see the danger in not belting their child up when driving.

GET THE latest from mamalette in your inbox