By Deborah Ortiz

Maybe you have read about “endocrine disruptors” and filed it away as an “environmental issue.” These endocrine disruptor chemicals are found in common consumer products such as pesticides, fertilizers and cleaning chemicals, and are a serious reproductive health issue as well. They have been linked to fertility problems, early puberty in children, poor birth outcomes and certain reproductive cancers.

It is important that we increase community awareness about the intersection of environmental exposure and reproductive health. I am in a unique position to know about the threat because our clinicians often see the troubling effects, ranging from low self-esteem due to early puberty, to problems conceiving healthy children, to a higher risk for breast cancer in young women.

Planned Parenthood’s mission is to promote the health and safety of pregnant women and children by providing primary and prenatal care to uninsured families, many of which work in agricultural communities and in places that expose them and their children to pesticides, plastics, perfumes and sources of endocrine disruptor chemicals.