Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 29, 2009


Clive Cookson, Financial Times - A study of Danish women has found the first evidence that synthetic chemicals widely used in consumer products cause infertility. In a study to be published in the medical journal Human Reproduction, US scientists say they found that women with higher levels of perfluorinated chemicals in their blood took longer to become pregnant. Since the 1950s PFCs have been incorporated in many everyday items, including food packaging, textiles, upholstery, carpets and personal products. They are coming under increasing suspicion for having damaged human health - and particularly for causing infertility - by disrupting hormones. Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, who carried out the study, claim they are the first to provide statistical evidence that PFCs have an effect on people. Chunyuan Fei of UCLA said: "Animal studies have shown that these chemicals may have a variety of toxic effects on the liver, immune system and developmental and reproductive organs. Very few human studies have been done."


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