It has been long suspected that there are toxins in the environment that may reduce a woman’s ovarian reserves (egg quality). It has also been suspected that exposure to some of these toxins may affect future generations if exposure occurs during pregnancy.
A recent article by Ogliari and colleagues published in a respected journal studied the effect of diesel exhaust on reproduction in mice. Male and female mice were exposed to diesel exhaust and their reproductive outcome was compared to those not exposed to the exhaust.
There were no differences in the pregnancy rates of females exposed to the exhaust compared to those not exposed. However, some significant differences were observed in their pups. There were fewer eggs in the pups exposed to the exhaust compared to pups not exposed.
This is an important study suggesting that, at least in mice, exposure to environmental pollutants such as diesel exhaust may have a detrimental effect on the reproductive ability of future generations. While it is not always possible to extrapolate scientific data from other animals to determine effects on humans, this is an important first step to raise awareness regarding such pollutants.