The headline above comes from an October 7, 2015, article in the Washington State publication, the Sun Valley Chronicle. The article reports on a Special Communication released by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) on October 1, 2015, in their publication, the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
The report begins with a warning, “Widespread exposure to toxic environmental chemicals threatens healthy human reproduction.” Some of the negative health outcomes listed by FIGO from chemicals in our environment include: miscarriage and still birth, impaired fetal growth, congenital malformations, impaired or reduced neurodevelopment and cognitive function, and an increase in cancer, attention problems, ADHD behaviors, and hyperactivity.
Dr. Gian Carlo Di Renzo, MD, PhD, Honorary Secretary of FIGO and lead author of the report commented, “We are drowning our world in untested and unsafe chemicals and the price we are paying in terms of our reproductive health is of serious concern.”
The report notes that in the U.S. alone, more than 30,000 pounds of chemicals are manufactured or imported per person. However, the vast majority of these chemicals have not been tested. On a global scale, the report estimates that nearly 4 million people die each year from exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution.
The report suggests that the solution to this crisis in the form of awareness and involvement from all healthcare workers. “FIGO proposes physicians, midwives, and other reproductive health professionals advocate for policies to prevent exposure to toxic environmental chemicals; work to ensure a healthy food system for all; make environmental health part of health care; and, champion environmental justice.”
The recommendations to help reverse this problem have wide-spread support and have been endorsed by: American College of Nurse-Midwives; American Society for Reproductive Medicine; Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; Canadian Association of Midwives; Endocrine Society; European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynecology; European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology; National Aboriginal Council of Midwives; Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada; and University of California, San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, “Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals is a feature of everyday life across the planet, and it harms the capacity for healthy human reproduction.”