More premature babies through chemical softeners
Researchers associate phthalates, which are added to plastics as plasticizers, with premature babies. In one study, pregnant women with the highest urinary phthalate concentration were up to five times more likely to give birth prematurely.
Phthalates are contained in plastic objects, cosmetics and medicines and are ingested by people orally or by inhalation. The phthalates can be detected in the urine. The effects on health have been the subject of studies for several years. A possible consequence of the admission could be an increased risk of premature birth, as researchers from Michigan have found.
In a case-control study, the team compared the concentration of individual phthalates in the urine of 130 pregnant women, whose child was born prematurely, with 352 pregnant women with a normal pregnancy duration. Some phthalates such as DEHP, MEHP, MBP or MECPP were increasingly found in the urine of pregnant women with premature birth. Since the phthalates are widespread, they could explain a significant proportion of premature babies, the researchers said. The abstract of the study. (pm)
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