Tags: plastics | chemical | genital | phthalates

Chemical in Plastics May Alter Boys' Genitals Before Birth

By    |   Thursday, 19 February 2015 05:08 PM

A chemical used in soft plastics has been linked to genital defects in baby boys who are exposed to it a while still in the womb.
 
The study, which involved more than 700 infants in four U.S. cities, is the largest of its kind to confirm earlier research findings that exposure to certain types of chemicals called phthalates may lead to changes in the way the male reproductive tract develops, LiveScience reports. 
 
Phthalates are a large group of industrial chemicals used in a variety of consumer products, such as food packaging, flooring, perfumes, and lotions.
 
The changes seen in the babies in the study were small, but significant, said lead author Shanna Swan, a reproductive health scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
 
For the study, the researchers measured pregnant women’s levels of 11 compounds that form in the body when phthalates are broken down. They found that newborn boys who were exposed in the womb to the highest levels of one phthalate, called diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), had measurable differences in genital formulation.
 
It's unclear whether the slight alterations seen in the babies in the study could be permanent, or could result in any reproductive health issues, the researchers said.
 
None of phthalates tested were associated with altered genitalia in baby girls. 

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A chemical used in plastics has been linked to genital defects in baby boys who are exposed to it a while still in the womb.
plastics, chemical, genital, phthalates
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2015-08-19
Thursday, 19 February 2015 05:08 PM
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