Perfumes linked to infertility

Perfumes and scented creams 'risk to infertility of babies'

Pregnant women have been told to avoid wearing perfume or using scented body creams as they may heighten the risk of their unborn baby being infertile.

A research study at Edinburgh University has stated many cosmetics can harm the reproductive system of male foetuses.

Scientists had stated there is an important period between eight and 12 weeks of pregnancy that determine future reproductive problems. They believe that chemicals found in some cosmetics used during this time can affect sperm production.

Lead researcher Prof Richard Sharpe said: ‘Women could stop using body creams and perfumes. It might have no consequence but it is something positive pregnant women can do for their baby.’

Sharpe emphasised that the team’s study was not yet conclusive proof that fertility was affected. However he did continue by saying that cosmetic chemicals may also increase the risk of baby boys developing other reproductive conditions later in life, including testicular cancer.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, Sharpe stated: ‘There are lots of compounds in perfumes that we know in higher concentrations have the potential to have biological effects, so it is just being ultra safe to say that by avoiding using them your baby isn’t at risk.

‘It is not because we have evidence that these chemicals categorically cause harm to babies, it is only based on experimental studies on animals that suggest it is a possibility.’

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform said all cosmetics are tested and current laws guarantee public safety, explaining: ‘All cosmetic products including perfume undergo a rigorous safety assessment by manufacturers.’

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