A new study has found that prenatal exposure to phthalates may be associated with reduced lung function in childhood. Phthalates are a class of chemicals used in a variety of consumer products, including cosmetics, food packaging, and children’s toys.
Previous research has linked prenatal exposure to phthalates with adverse health effects, including reduced IQ, attention problems, and altered reproductive development. This new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, adds to the evidence by showing an association with reduced lung function.
The study included data from 1,773 mother-child pairs from the National Heath and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers measured phthalate exposure in the mother during pregnancy, and then assessed the child’s lung function at age 5-9 years.
They found that higher prenatal exposure to phthalates was associated with reduced child lung function, even after taking into account other factors such as maternal asthma and cigarette smoking. This association was seen with exposure to two types of phthalates in particular – DEHP and DBP.
The findings add to the evidence that prenatal exposure to phthalates may have harmful effects on child health. The authors recommend that further research be conducted to confirm the findings and to determine the mechanisms by which phthalates may affect lung function. In the meantime, they advise pregnant women to limit their exposure to phthalates by avoiding products that contain them.
Prenatal phthalate exposure may be linked to reduced childhood lung function, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) and the Keck School of Medicine of USC looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and found that children whose mothers had higher levels of phthalates in their urine during pregnancy were more likely to have reduced lung function at age 6-11 years.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals commonly used in plastics, food packaging, and personal care products. They can be absorbed through the skin or ingested, and have been linked to a variety of health problems, including reproductive and developmental toxicity, hormone disruption, and cancer.
The new study is one of the first to examine the potential effects of prenatal phthalate exposure on childhood lung function. The findings suggest that phthalates may interfere with the development of the lungs and airways, leading to reduced lung function in children.
The study is published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.