Thursday, July 19, 2012

Common chemicals detected in amniotic fluid from 1980s and 1990s. — Environmental Health News

Common chemicals detected in amniotic fluid from 1980s and 1990s. — Environmental Health News
    In this study, researchers analyzed stored samples of amniotic fluid from 300 women in Denmark who were pregnant with sons between 1980 and 1996. They measured indicators for seven phthalates and the perflourinated chemical PFOS. The amniocenteses were performed from the 10th to the 30th week of pregnancy.
One DEHP marker, one DiNP marker and PFOS were detected in 96 to 99 percent of the amniotic fluid samples.
       The phthalates DEHP and DiNP are added to polyvinyl plastic to make it flexible. These chemicals are used in products such as soft plastic toys, medical tubing, wall coverings, floor tiles, shower curtains and food packaging. People are exposed primarily through eating, touching or breathing them in from the air. Once phthalates enter the body, they quickly metabolize and are excreted in urine in less than a day.

      Animal studies show DEHP is linked to liver cancer and may have reproductive effects. A recent study linked prenatal exposure to poorer reflexes in newborn boys. Because of concerns for children's health, the United States and Europe have banned DEHP and other phthalates from children's toys and products and DiNP from children's toys small enough to chew.

     PFOS is used to manufacture stain-repellent coatings for carpets, textiles and paper. People are exposed through eating food contaminated by the packaging and breathing household dust. PFOS can circulate in blood for several years. PFOS may affect thyroid function and the important suite of thyroid hormones that direct development, metabolism and reproduction. 
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