If you’re planning on becoming pregnant in the near future, you may want to avoid cadmium and lead notes a new report by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. According to the report, higher blood levels of cadmium in females, and higher blood levels of lead in males resulted in conception delays. Both males and females exposed to high levels of these toxins experienced problems, but when combined, it exasperated the issue, leading researchers to note, “The findings highlight the importance of assessing couples’ exposure jointly, in a single, combined measure. Males matter, because couples’ chances of becoming pregnant each cycle were reduced with increasing blood lead concentrations in men.” You’re most likely to encounter cadmium if you smoke, as cigarette smoke is the most common source of exposure. Cadmium is also found in batteries, pigments, metal coatings and plastics. Fish, plants, and animals absorb cadmium from the air and soil so it’s hard to avoid entirely if you eat food. Lead is an easier fix. Avoid lead-based cosmetics, old ceramics and pipes and make sure your home is free of lead-based paint and lead-glazed pottery.

+ NIH study links high levels of cadmium, lead in blood to pregnancy delay

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