Baby powder, lotion and shampoo may be increasing the exposure of babies to a hormone-mimicking chemical that is of growing concern to many toxicologists, according to USA Today.
Phthalates are found in many products, and in the urine of all 163 babies tested in a new study, according to USA Today. Not only that, but most babies tested showed they had been exposed to not just one, but seven different kinds of the chemical. Those babies whose parents used powder, lotion and shampoo showed higher levels.
There are no studied that show specific health effects from exposure to this level of the chemical at this age, but laboratory animal studies have demonstrated links to reproductive problems, allergies and skin problems.
Because the bodies of fetuses and babies develop so quickly, even small exposure to harmful chemicals can have an outsized effect, albeit one that may not show signs for years or decades. This study raises another concern about man-made chemicals in everyday products that may, because they mimic the chemicals that regulate so many body functions, cause health risks at minute concentrations.
Avoiding products with phthalates can be difficult, because they aren't always labeled clearly. DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate) and DEP (diethyl phthalate) are two to look for on labels. For more information, use this label de-coder.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.