PFRs – or organophosphate flame retardants – are used in upholstered furniture and gym mats, as well as some baby products.
The chemical is extremely fine and can spread from the item, like furniture, in the form of dust and enter the system.
Dr Courtney Carignan said: “These findings suggest that exposure to PFRs may be one of many risk factors for lower reproductive success.
Although the link between PFRs and infertility in women is tentative, another of the researchers, Harvard Unviversity’s school of public health Professor Russ Hauser, said there is strong enough evidence to make prospective parents reconsider products which have these chemicals.
“There is growing concern that the chemicals we are all exposed to may have an impact on fertility”
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Professor Richard Anderson, an expert in clinical reproductive science at Edinburgh University, said: “There is growing concern that the chemicals we are all exposed to may have an impact on fertility, but direct evidence of impact in men and women has often been limited.
“Worryingly, higher concentrations of these chemicals were associated with substantial reductions in the success of IVF, with a lower chance of having a baby.”