Evidence keeps piling up about the potential of three common chemicals to cause subtle but lasting changes to the human body.
The latest studies, published in a special section of the journal Environmental Research, links Bisphenol-A, phthalates and the flame retardants known as PBDEs with reproductive and behavioral effects.
Phthalates an ingredient in many plastics, fragrances and cosmetics block the production of testosterone in fetuses, and was linked in both rat and human studies to smaller anogenital distance in male babies, a marker of development related to size of the scrotum.
The federal government just approved a ban on six types of phthalates in products used by children.
Bisphenol-A mimics estrogen, and PBDEs disrupt the thyroid; both showed signs of altering normal development of the brain and behavior in new rat and mice studies.
While independent and governmental scientific panels have raised concerns about Bisphenol-A, the Food and Drug Administration has not restricted its use. Use of some PBDEs has been restricted.
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