Richelle Duque Björvang
Our modern, industrialized society has developed countless improvements for everyday life. Although these developments come with many benefits, they can also be accompanied by adverse effects to our health and the environment. One important example is exposure to industrial chemicals, which is now ubiquitous in day-to-day life. Some of these chemicals have been found to disrupt endocrine activity, and are thus named endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Studies of humans, wildlife populations, multiple experimental animal studies, and epidemiological cohorts show associations between EDC exposure and adverse health effects, making this a global health concern. Extensive lines of evidence have demonstrated detrimental effects of EDC exposure on male fertility, while their effects on reproductive health in women remain poorly understood Currently, our study aims to identify EDCs that are associated with adverse effects on fertility in women in Sweden, elucidate transfer of chemicals from mother to the fetus, and investigate the effects and mechanisms of action of the identified chemicals on human ovarian folliculogenesis and steroidogenesis in vitro. Ultimately, we aim to provide a better understanding of the effects of EDCs on female reproductive health, making us a step closer towards protecting our future generations via more efficient legislations on chemicals.