Phthalates, which are chemicals found in many plastic consumer goods, as well as in food and personal care products, were studied to ascertain their effects on the masculinization of male genitals in newborns.
Scientists studied 350 women and their babies who participated in the Infant Development and the Environment Study (TIDES).
The pregnant women had both blood and urine samples tested in their first trimester of pregnancy, as well as measuring the babies’ at birth.
The researchers studied the relationship between the pregnancy hormone hCG and the anogenital distance (the distance between the anus and the penis).
A shorter anogenital distance is associated with decreased sperm count.
Higher levels of hCG in the mother’s blood was associated with shorter anogenital distance in males. The scientists found phthalate levels were associated with shorter anogenital distances.
The findings were presented at the Endocrine Society’s 97th annual meeting in San Diego.
This study adds to the information from the previous studies that phthalates cause many problems.
Common sources of phthalate exposures include plastic water bottles and plastic juice bottles. It is best to drink from glass or stainless steel containers.
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