If your home is your sanctuary, you might want to reconsider what you decorate it with, especially if you plan to get pregnant. A recent study out of the School of Public Health at the University of California in Berkeley has found that chemicals commonly used to fire-proof furniture, textiles, plastics and electronics manage to get into the bloodstream and apparently, exert a powerful influence on fertility.
The study involved 223 women who were trying to get pregnant. Those subjects who had high levels of certain fire-retardant chemicals in their blood took about twice as long to get pregnant as the women who had low levels. The chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, became common in the 1970s. According to study author Dr. Km Harley, "For every tenfold increase in PBDEs in the blood, we saw a 30% to 50% decrease in the odds of becoming pregnant in any given month," said study author Dr. Kim Harley.
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