The Human Experiment, a new film by Sean Penn, exposes the potentially toxic chemicals in everyday household goods, and why you should steer clear if you're TTC.
Just the way An Inconvenient Truth opened people's eyes to climate change, and Food Inc. got us thinking about the damaging side-effects of factory farming, another hard-hitting documentary, in theaters this Friday, is making us think twice about the chemicals lurking in everyday products ... especially when it comes to fertility.
The Human Experiment, produced and narrated by actor Sean Penn, is a powerful documentary that exposes the problems arising from the thousands of untested and potentially toxic chemicals we put into our shopping carts everyday. It poses the intriguing question: What if the greatest chemical disaster of all time was not an oil spill somewhere far away, but happening right now, in your medicine cabinet?
The film outlines ingredients found in seemingly innocuous products, like deodorant, baby bottles and toothpaste, which, inflicted over generations could have disastrous implications on public health. The title asks: Are we all unknowing guinea pigs in one giant human experiment conducted by the corporations trying to sell us stuff? It's an intriguing suggestion.
BPA and fertility
Any mom-to-be who has cleared out her medicine cabinet in a bid to steer clear of chemicals will be familiar with the problem endocrine disruptors pose on fertility.
The Human Experiment makes a point of highlighting studies that link one such chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA), lurking in things like plastic bottles, to the spike in cases of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility, especially prevalent among recent generations.
BPA is a $6 billion industry and 93% of Americans are said to have the chemical in their bloodstream, according to the film. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken the step to ban the chemical in baby bottles and sippy cups, it still lurks in canned foods and beverages, as well as water bottles and even grocery receipts.
The documentary follows a couple struggling with trying to conceive, convinced chemicals like BPA are partly to blame for their infertility (watch the exclusive clip below). It's a devastating and frustrating conundrum if the products we've all felt comfortable using for years could be standing in the way of us leading the lives we want to lead.
Wondering where to start? In a bid to help us all become better informed consumers, the filmmakers are running a campaign, hash-tagged #switchtosafer, alongside The Human Experiment's release to highlight problematic products and help us switch by way of a useful suggestion tool on its website.
While the FDA still considers BPA safe, the filmmakers encourage a "why not?" approach to what you buy. If something has fewer chemicals, why not use it instead? If it could make or break your chances of having a baby now or later, it's kind of a no brainer.
The Human Experiment hits theaters and VOD platforms on April 17
WATCH this exclusive clip and trailer below: