Cadmium and lead – two heavy metals that seemingly go hand and hand are consistently being targeted as a threat to your health. Higher blood levels of cadmium in females and higher blood levels of lead in males leads to infertility problems and delayed pregnancy, a new study has found. These are the same contaminants now being found in common products like lipstick and low quality jewelry for children.
Lead, Cadmium Shown to Delay Pregnancy
The study, published online in Chemosphere, enrolled 501 couples from Michigan and Texas between 2005 to 2009. The women, aged 18-44, and the men, aged 18+, were followed for up to 1 year or until pregnancy. Women were also asked to keep a journal to record monthly menstrual cycles and results of home pregnancy tests.
Using blood samples to find the participants’ blood concentration of the metals, the researchers found that the probability of pregnancy was 22 percent less for each increase in blood cadmium concentration for women. In men, the probability of conceiving was 16 percent less for each increase in blood lead concentration.
“Our results indicate that men and women planning to have children should minimize their exposure to lead and cadmium…they can reduce cadmium exposure by avoiding cigarettes or by quitting if they are current smokers, especially if they intend to become pregnant in the future. Similarly, they can take steps to reduce their exposure to lead-based paints, which may occur in older housing, including during periods of home renovation.” principal investigator Dr. Germaine Buck Louis, director of the division of epidemiology, statistics and prevention research at the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said.
Both cadmium and lead are toxic metals that can be found in many products today. Cadmium, most commonly found in cigarettes, is also used in batteries, pigments, metal coatings, and inexpensive jewelry for kids. Although lead has always been the heavy metal receiving the spotlight for damaging your health, recent research shows that cadmium is potentially even more dangerous than lead.
Lead, often found in ceramics, pipes, and batteries, has also been shown to be tainting commercial apple juice and 400 popular lipstick shades. Government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration generally know about all of this heavy metal exposure, but claim they are “safe” since found in such low amounts. What they seem to forget is that toxic metals like cadmium and lead are in many products people use every single day.