Plasticizers and Your Baby

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                        Plasticizers and Your Baby

                        Written by Dan Murphy, D.C., D.A.B.C.O.
                        TAC, Research Review , Volume 30, Issue 5
                        Published:
                              
                        Baby Care Products: Possible Sources of Infant Phthalate
                        Exposure
                        Pediatrics
                        Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics
                        Vol. 121, No. 2, February 2008, pp. e260-e268
                        by Sheela Sathyanarayana, MD, MPH; Catherine J. Karr,
                        MD, PhD;
                        Paula Lozano, MD, MPH; Elizabeth Brown, PhD; Antonia M.
                        Calafat, PhD;
                        Fan Liu, MS; and Shanna H. Swan, PhD
                         
                        KEY POINTS FROM DR. DAN MURPHY
                        1. "Phthalates are man-made chemicals found in personal
                        care and other products."
                        2. Phthalates can alter human male reproductive
                        development.
                        3. Phthalate exposure is widespread in infants.
                        4. Infant exposure to lotions, powders, and shampoos is
                        significantly associated with increased urinary
                        concentrations of phthalates, and associations increased
                        with the number of products used.
                        5. Young infants are more vulnerable to developmental
                        and reproductive toxicity of phthalates because of their
                        immature metabolic system capability and because of
                        increased exposure dosage per unit body surface area.
                        6. Phthalates are synthetic, man-made chemicals that
                        have toxic effects to the developing endocrine and
                        reproductive systems.
                        7. Phthalates are used in the manufacturing of a wide
                        variety of industrial and common household products.
                        8. Phthalate chemicals are found in plastic products
                        such as children’s toys, lubricants, infant care
                        products, chemical stabilizers in cosmetics, personal
                        care products, and polyvinyl chloride tubing.
                        9. "Phthalates are not chemically bound to these
                        products and are, therefore, continuously released into
                        the air or, through leaching, into liquids, leading to
                        exposure through ingestion, dermal transfer, and
                        inhalation."
                        10. "Children are uniquely vulnerable to phthalate
                        exposures given their hand-to-mouth behaviors, floor
                        play, and developing nervous and reproductive systems."
                        11. Phthalates are associated with sperm DNA damage in
                        male adults and have widespread effects on endocrine and
                        reproductive systems.
                        12. Phthalate exposure through breast milk is associated
                        with abnormal reproductive hormone levels in
                        three-month-old infants, "suggesting that early human
                        exposures may have an adverse impact on endocrine
                        homeostasis."
                        13. "Phthalates have also been found in food products
                        and are thought to be contaminants that enter the food
                        supply during processing and packaging."
                        14. Mothers’ use of baby lotion was associated with an
                        80 percent increase in phthalate concentrations.
                        15. Infant powder use was associated with a 60 percent
                        increase in infant urine phthalate concentration.
                        16. Infant shampoo use was associated with a 40 percent
                        increase in infant urine phthalate concentration.
                        17. Mothers’ use of infant lotion, infant powder, and
                        shampoo was significantly associated with higher
                        phthalate metabolite urinary concentrations.
                        18. This study shows that dermal exposure is an
                        important route of exposure for some phthalates,
                        particularly for young infants.
                        19. Phthalate exposures come from multiple sources,
                        including plastics, personal care products, and
                        household products, and multiple exposure routes may be
                        involved.
                        20. Oral ingestion of phthalates occurs through food,
                        medicines, and indirect dust ingestion.
                        21. Infants are exposed to phthalates through oral
                        ingestion of breast milk/formula, and dermal exposure to
                        specific infant care products.
                        22. "In the United States, there is no requirement that
                        products be labeled as to their phthalate content.
                        Parents may not be able to make informed choices until
                        manufacturers are required to list phthalate contents of
                        products."
                        23. These authors "recommend limiting amount of infant
                        care products used and not applying lotions or powders
                        unless indicated for a medical reason."
                        24. "Phthalate toxicity is of increasing importance in
                        the scientific and public community."
                        Dr. Dan Murphy graduated magna cum laude from Western
                        States Chiropractic College in 1978. He received
                        Diplomat status in Chiropractic Orthopedics in 1986.
                        Since 1982, Dr. Murphy has served part-time as
                        undergraduate faculty at Life Chiropractic College West,
                        currently teaching classes to seniors in the management
                        of spinal disorders. He has taught more than 2000
                        postgraduate continuing education seminars. Dr. Murphy
                        is a contributing author to both editions of the book
                        Motor Vehicle Collision Injuries and to the book
                        Pediatric Chiropractic.