What would you say if I told you there was a product that, when tested, could be shown in 29 of the 31 brands to be influencing male fertility - and not in a good way?
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that filters commonly used in sunscreens to absorb ultraviolet light could affect male fertility by stopping sperm from functioning properly. That's right, sunscreen.
The researchers tested 29 of the 31 UV filters approved for use in the United States and Europe, by dissolving and applying them to sperm samples provided by healthy volunteers. "These results are of concern and might explain, in part, why unexplained infertility is so prevalent," Niels Skakkebaek said, in a statement.
"Globally, we see that semen quality is generally very poor," said Skakkebaek, an endocrinologist at the university's Rigshospitalet hospital unit who led the study, presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Boston earlier this month.
Fertility rates have fallen worldwide over the last 50 years, and chemicals found in everyday products are thought to be playing a role -- including those in your sunscreen. When I get my hands on the full report, we will identify the two UV filters and the brands that had positive results.
If you have been following my posts both here and on our site, you will find that we have been raising the question about chemicals and chemical use in modern life. Simply put, we have no idea as to how they are affecting us. I recently wrote about mobile phones, and the radiation that they emit has been linked to 'distorting cellular function' after several trials into the subject. We have seen how BPA, which was originally designed as an oestrogen drug but it is now used to make plastic - including water bottles - has had similar effects.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals may contribute to reproductive health problems experienced by hundreds of thousands of women, costing the European Union an estimated €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) a year in healthcare expenditures and lost earning potential, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) released “Women and Chemicals”, a publication that calls for more political action for better health protection from harmful chemicals.
From our perspective, we would agree with the thoughts of Niels Skakkebaek that these chemicals might be contributing to the rise in 'unexplained infertility' in both men and women. The problem with unexplained infertility is just that - it is hard to tie it down to a cause. However, a lot of the recent research, looking at individual chemicals or the combination of these substances accumulating in the body, is starting to create a very clear picture. Pillar Healthcare is advocating that anyone who has been diagnosed as infertile through a more common marker, like motility or low progesterone, or through unexplained infertility, avoid harmful chemicals and substances that may be interfering with conceiving. The team at Pillar do appreciate how novel this concept is. It might also be difficult to put this into practice in many instances. Everything that you do can be a positive or a negative! Our website and blog has a few practical tips on how to limit your exposure. At Pillar, we always say it is never a good idea to focus on one aspect (i.e. sunscreen) but reducing the overall exposure to toxins!  
Fertility Specialist