The study has described: "Phthalates are synthetic, man-made chemicals of increasing public importance because of potential toxic effects to the developing endocrine and reproductive systems. These chemicals are found in plastic products such as children's toys, lubricants, infant care products, chemical stabilizers in cosmetics, personal care products, and polyvinyl chloride tubing.
Phthalates are not chemically bound to these products and are therefore continuously released into the air or through leaching into liquids, leading to exposure through ingestion, dermal transfer, and inhalation.
Children are uniquely vulnerable to phthalate exposures given their hand-to-mouth behaviors, floor play, and developing nervous and reproductive systems. Although recent data suggest that some phthalates can adversely affect human male reproductive function, few studies have characterized phthalate biomarkers or sources of exposure in infants and toddlers."
The study's lead author, Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a University of Washington pediatrician, said, "The bottom line is that these chemicals likely do exist in products that we're commonly using on our children and they potentially could cause health effects."
The federal government doesn't limit their use, although California and some countries have restricted their use.
"There is an obvious need for laws that force the beauty industry to clean up its act," said Stacy Malkan of Health Care Without Harm.
Concerned parents can seek products labeled "phthalate-free," or check labels for phthalates: DEHP, DBP, MEP, MBP, MBzP, MiBP, DiNP, SFFI, SFFII, MMP, MCPP, DnOP, MEHP, MEHHP, MEOHP, LOD, LPMC, CI, NHANES, DEP, BBzP.
But the chemicals often don't appear on product labels. That's because retail products aren't required to list individual ingredients of fragrances, which are a common phthalate source.
If you simply don't want to deal with this and you care for your baby’s health, perhaps you should get organic or natural products free of these chemicals.
- You can read the study at:
Also, you can check the database of personal care products by the Environmental Working Group that includes baby-care products and evaluates whether individual products are likely to be safe.