Yoga mat chemicals may cause infertility, Harvard study claims

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BOSTON – Yoga may put you in great shape and a better state of mind, but a new study claims chemicals in yoga mats could cause infertility.

The Harvard University study says the flame retardant chemicals found in the mats lower a woman's chances of a successful pregnancy.

Organophosphate flame retardants (PFRs) are found in mats, along with upholstered furniture and car seats.

“These findings suggest that exposure to PFRs may be one of many risk factors for lower reproductive success,” said the study's first author Courtney Carignan.

The study says PFRs have been found in animal studies to cause hormone disruption.

Researchers found PFRs were detected in 80 percent of the urine samples given by the 211 women in the study.

“Couples undergoing IVF and trying to improve their chances of success by reducing their exposure to environmental chemicals may want to opt for products that are flame-retardant free,” said senior author Russ Hauser.