A new study shows that kids don’t have to sleep on crib mattress with phthalates in them or play with phthalates-laden toys to suffer the consequences of these dangerous chemicals. It’s getting into their bodies while they’re still in the womb.
Phthalates are in a long list of products: perfumes, fragrances, cosmetics, scented lotions, shampoos, aftershaves, nail polish, hair spray, food packaging, adhesives, car interiors, medical devices like blood IV bags and tubing, vinyl flooring, vinyl wallpaper, vinyl shower curtains – the list is very long.
So long, in fact, that it would be hard to find a mom who wasn’t exposed to phthalates during or before her pregnancy.
The new study, published in the International Journal of Andrology, tested the urine of women during the 28th week of pregnancy and divided them into four groups based on the concentration of phthalate metabolites or breakdown products. Then they assessed the play behavior of their 145 children when they reached age 3 to 6.
If mothers were in the highest concentration group, the chance that their boys had a less masculine score was five times greater than mothers in the lowest concentration group. They just didn’t do the things that are considered typical for little boys.
One of the researchers, Dr. Shanna Swan, PhD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Center for Reproductive Epidemiology, and an expert on phthalates, said she and other experts suspect that exposure to phthalates affects the level of testosterone crucial for the development not only of male reproductive organs, but also the masculine brain. ”We now suspect that the phthalate [exposure] affects the entire body, not just the reproductive tract,” she told Web MD.
The researchers studied only two types of phthalates, DEHP and DBP, both of which have been permanently banned in certain children’s products – including crib mattresses – as of February 2009. Which doesn’t mean those products aren’t still on the shelves, they just can’t be in products manufactured after that date.
Any woman who is pregnant or considering become pregnant would be wise to look into this. It’s crucial to her health – read Is Your Crib Mattress Phthalates Free? Why You Need to Find Out for more info on the potential health hazards to adults and children – and her baby’s.
We don’t use phthalates in Naturepedic crib mattresses – never have, never will.