BOSTON (CBS) -- A troubling new study could explain why some couples have trouble conceiving.
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital found infertility could be directly linked to a chemical found in plastic.
One in six couples are infertile in America, according to doctors at the Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is an environmental toxin that disrupts the endocrine system.
In other words, it disrupts the hormone system in the body.Dr. Catherine Racowsky has been part of a 2-year-study.In the study, human eggs were exposed to BPA in a controlled environment.
"Any disruption in this exquisite tiny little structure in the egg can disrupt fertility," Racowsky said.
Researchers found eggs that were exposed to BPA were less likely to mature or did so abnormally.
Which increases the risk for birth defects like Down Syndrome.
"Be aware that products such as BPA are there and this may be one contributing factor that may play a role in this horrible disease of infertility," Racowsky said.
BPA is found in things we handle everyday like water bottles, receipts, and due to pollution even the air we breathe.
The Food and Drug Administration has banned BPA from baby bottles and formula but it's still commonly used in items like canned food.
Racowsky says more research is needed but if possible, steer clear of processed food.
"I think the take home message for infertile couples is to try to lead the healthiest lifestyles that you can," she said.
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