A new study has revealed that women who dust their house carry a greater chance of becoming pregnant.
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley say flame-retardant chemicals in items like lounge suites, electronics, fabrics, carpets, and plastics cause delays in conception.
The chemicals called PBDEs leech out through dust on surfaces. They can be inhaled and then stored in human fat cells.
The study found that women with higher blood levels of PBDEs took longer to become pregnant compared with women who have lower PBDE levels.
The study found that each 10-fold increase in the blood concentration of four PBDE chemicals was linked to a 30 percent decrease in the odds of becoming pregnant each month.
"There have been numerous animal studies that have found a range of health effects from exposure to PBDEs, but very little research has been done in humans. This latest paper is the first to address the impact on human fertility, and the results are surprisingly strong," said the study's lead author, Kim Harley, adjunct assistant professor of maternal and child health and associate director of the Center for Children's Environmental Health Research at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health.
The study is to be published Jan. 26 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.