Written by Megan Ridshaw, JD, Defending children’s health
new Peer reviewed article Phthalate bonds, which are a group of neurotoxic chemicals found in phthalates Hundreds of consumer products Including toys, floor coverings and food packaging, to cause long-term damage to neurodevelopment in fetuses, infants and children.
The study, “The Neurotoxicity of Ortho-Phthalates: Recommendations for Critical Policy Reforms for Protecting Children’s Brain Development,” was published February 18 in the American Journal of Public Health.
TENDR Project, which means Targeting environmental neurological development risks, Is a collaboration of leading scientists, health professionals and environmentalists who have gathered together around the growing scientific evidence linking toxic environmental chemicals with neurodevelopmental disorders.
According to the study, the data from Longitudinal congenital cohort studies Conducted over the past decade have shown associations between prenatal exposure to phthalates, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, behavior problems, and harmful cognitive development including lower IQ, psychomotor development, and poor social communication.
To protect a child’s brain development, the TENDR Project is Calling to remove phthalates It is a consumer product that contributes to the exposure of pregnant women, women of childbearing age, infants and children.
Lead author of the study, Stephanie Engel, a professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at the Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, He told CNN:
“What we want to achieve is to move the public health community, including regulators, toward this goal of eliminating phthalates. We have sufficient evidence at the moment to be concerned about the effect of these chemicals on a child’s risk of developing ADHD.”
In response to the study, Eileen Connelly, Senior Director of the Chemical Products and Technology Division of the American Chemistry Council, He told CNN That, despite the encouragement of ongoing research efforts in the science and health of phthalates, “We believe that studies that acknowledge a causal link between phthalates and the adverse effects on human health have been overstated.”
What are phthalates?
Phthalates Be High production chemicals It is mostly used as a plasticizer in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and is added back to plastics to make it more elastic and harder to break. to me European plasticizers, Which is an industrial trade association, consumes 8.4 million metric tons of phthalates and other plastics annually.
Phthalates Found it in Hundreds of auto, home, food and personal care items such as food packaging, detergents, vinyl flooring, clothes, furniture, shower curtains, lubricants, adhesives, anti-rain and stain products, shampoos, soaps, hairspray, nail polish, kids toys, paint on medicines, Medical suppliesAnd household items, cosmetics and personal care products.
Damage to neurodevelopment in infants and children
to me CNNSeveral studies have linked phthalates to Childhood obesityAnd the crisisAnd the Cardiovascular problemsAnd the cancer And the Reproductive problems. Recently, prof An increasing number Prospective epidemiological studies demonstrated the negative effects of prenatal exposure to phthalates on the neurodevelopment of infants and children.
By 2019, more than 30 studies have examined prenatal exposure to different types of phthalates, and long-term studies have been conducted in 11 different countries or regions. According to the TENDR Project. the findings show up A consistent pattern of hyperactivity, aggression, defiance, emotional reaction, deviant behaviors, impaired executive function, symptoms of ADHD or ADHD after exposure to phthalates.
For example, in one 2018 study Published From an environmental health perspective, mothers with the highest levels of phthalates in their urine during the second trimester have nearly three times the odds of having a child with ADHD compared to mothers with the lowest levels of testing.
Another study Published Through the public health implications of climate change, children who were exposed to higher levels of phthalates in the womb were discovered to have a weaker working memory and a lower children’s IQ. Phthalates have been associated with decreased processing speed, cognitive reasoning, and verbal comprehension.
In an interview with CNNConneely of the American Chemistry Council cited selective systematic reviews of behavioral and neurocognitive influences that concluded that “there was no association between DINP, DIDP, and behavioral or neurocognitive effects.”
Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP) are two of the many types of chemicals known as phthalates.
Plus, Connelly Tell CNN, “Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clearly shows that levels of exposure to phthalates are much lower than levels determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory agencies to be safe.”
Unlike heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury, phthalates are metabolized more quickly and usually leave the body once exposure is removed according to CNN.
“They have a much shorter biological half life than, for example, heavy metals, which can remain suspended for decades,” She said David Bellinger, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at Boston Children’s Hospital and a member of the TENDR Project.
The problem, Bellinger Added, Is that “once a developing baby’s brain is affected by chemicals in the womb, the damage is done.”
Scientists and health experts Behind the Project Project TENDR paper They are urging both federal and state agencies to move quickly to eliminate phthalate use to reduce exposure to women of childbearing age, pregnant women, infants, and children, adding that “states should not wait for the federal government to act, as state actions can stimulate federal regulation.”
Blocking them one by one will not sufficiently reduce the threat, Engle told CNN:
“We are exposed to many phthalates, and that mixture can come within one product, but also across many products that people are exposed to in a single day. The truth is that we need to think of phthalates as a category because that’s how people are exposed.”
The authors of the TENDR project recommend that consumers reduce their exposure to the phthalates in food products. Medicinal products Medicines, personal care, household products and building materials. They also caution against replacing one harmful phthalate with another.
Replacing safer alternatives to phthalates is critical due to the risks these chemicals pose to a child’s brain development. According to the study.
Critics point to the cost of removing an entire class of chemicals, but manufacturers have already done so It was removed successfully Phthalates are from a wide range of products.
Apple has removed the “Phthalates as a category of nearly all products,” while others such as CVS and The Home Depot “have reduced the use of phthalates in cosmetics,” Personal care productsAnd household products Vinyl flooring, According to CNN.
Bellinger Boston told the kids that the audience could play A. important role In achieving change. He recalled removing Bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles and drinking mugs after mothers called on companies to remove the hormone-causing agent from their products. Six major companies removed the chemical three years before the FDA required it.
Petitions pending action
This isn’t the first time that a group of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked to consider banning an entire class of chemicals due to their overall effect.
A petition filed last year by the Environmental Defense Fund with support from 11 groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association and the Center for Food Safety. Called on the FDA To look at the “cumulative effects” of over 10,000 chemicals allowed In foods and food packaging.
Some of these chemicals, such as phthalates and another class of chemicals called PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances), Known for hormonal disorders Linked to other developmental, cognitive and health problems in infants and adults.
According to CNN, the Food and Drug Administration Currently under review Two applications on food additives require the agency to amend its regulations on food additives while removing the license to use phthalates in food contact applications.
“It is a priority for the Food and Drug Administration to complete our review of these petitions and publish our response in the Federal Register.” A spokesman for the FDA said.
Its source Wake up times