Air pollution may harm fertility

Following the closure of eight power plants in California between 2001–2011, air pollution in the surrounding areas went down—and fertility rates went up. These findings, in a new study led by researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, suggest that exposure to air pollution may be damaging reproductive health.

Audrey Gaskins, a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found similar results in a study released earlier this year. She found that women undergoing in vitro fertilization who lived close to major roadways had a lower chance of a successful embryo implantation and live birth than those who lived farther from major roadways and heavy traffic pollution.

Negative reproductive health outcomes such as fertility difficulties and pregnancy loss “are like a canary in a coal mine,” Gaskins said in a November 14, 2018 Popular Science article. “It’s a sign that pollution is acting on the body in a way that’s detrimental. Who knows what else we’re going to see.”

Read the Popular Science article: Air pollution might make it harder to get pregnant