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.
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.