Monday, February 4, 2008

Studies: Babies Absorb Phthalates from Common Products

There's new concern about the toxins that babies ingest after a new study has suggested that infants can absorb potentially harmful chemicals called phthalates from a variety of products.

The study, reported online today in the journal Pediatrics, indicates that these chemicals can be found in products such as baby lotion, baby powder, and baby shampoo.

The problem may be in the products themselves, and in the containers in which these products are sold. Phthalates are chemicals that are use to make plastic products more flexible, such as to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more pliable, and they are also used to stabilize fragrances used in products.

One of the study authors told Reuters Health that there is "a large body of animal studies to suggest developmental and reproductive toxicity (from phthalates) and a few human studies with changes in health outcomes as well."

An article on WebMD tells more about phthalates, and features some health experts weighing in on the issue and how harmful (or not) they may be to babies.

American manufacturers are not required to list phthalate on product labels. The use of some phthalates is restricted in the European Union for children's toys.

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