Children's Health

Prenatal phthalate exposure may impact infants’ growth and health

Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals that are used in plastics and as food additives. A recent study in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry examined whether prenatal exposure to phthalates in maternal and cord blood affects birth outcomes in infants.

Results from the study involving 65 mother-infant pairs suggest that phthalates have potentially estrogenic effects in female infants and anti-androgenic effects in male infants. Also, higher levels of several different phthalates were associated with smaller head circumference in all infants.

“Follow-up of the study participants could help to clarify the long-term impacts of phthalates on infants’ growth and health,” said corresponding author Pai-Shan Chen, PhD, of National Taiwan University.

Journal reference:

Hwa, H-L., et al. (2022) Monitoring Phthalates in Maternal and Cord Blood: Implications for Prenatal Exposure and Birth Outcomes. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. doi.org/10.1002/etc.5280.

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