phthalates http://michiganradio.org en Study: Phthalates affect child development http://michiganradio.org/post/study-phthalates-affect-child-development <p>Phthalates are a class of chemicals that have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system. They&rsquo;re used in all kinds of consumer products including flooring, cars and cosmetics.</p><p><a href="http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.1103705">A new study published today</a> finds a significant link between pregnant women&rsquo;s exposure to phthalates and negative impacts on their children&rsquo;s development.</p><p>Robin Whyatt is a professor in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and she&rsquo;s the lead author of the study. She and her team have an ongoing study of more than 700 mothers and their children that began in 1998.</p><p>For this particular study, they looked at about half of those mother-child pairs. They measured phthalate levels in the mothers&rsquo; urine and compared those levels to several developmental tests on their children, who are now three years old.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;As levels in the mothers&#39; urine went up, the child&rsquo;s motor development went down significantly.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>She says the types of phthalates they studied appear to affect the babies&rsquo; brain development while they&rsquo;re still in utero.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Three of the phthalates were significantly associated with behavioral disorders, or behavioral problems: anxious, depressed behaviors, emotionally reactive behaviors, withdrawn behavior.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Whyatt says they controlled for a long list of factors. They looked at tobacco smoke, lead, pesticides, and other toxic substances.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;We controlled for race and ethnicity, gestational age. We looked at marital status, we looked at a number of different indicators of poverty and also how much hardship a woman was going through.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>And she says still, there was a significant link between the mothers&rsquo; phthalate levels and their children&rsquo;s development.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Our findings are concerning because saw a two to three fold increase in the odds that the child would have motor delays and or behavioral problems.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>But she says more research is needed. And parents should keep in mind that any individual child&rsquo;s risk is low.</p><p> Tue, 06 Sep 2011 14:57:52 +0000 Rebecca Williams 4037 at http://michiganradio.org Study: Phthalates affect child development