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The Scoop on Baby Products and Possible Toxins

You may not have known exactly how to pronounce it, but chemicals called phthalates ("thah-lates") have sparked concerned conversations among many moms and dads of young tots in recent years. Parents and scientists alike wonder whether and how kids might be affected by exposure to these modern manmade chemicals -- used in everything from cosmetics to household products, from toys to pacifiers, from PVC pipes to plastic food containers.

Now, a new study suggests that some common baby products many parents regularly use -- and trust as safe -- could contain these chemicals that may be toxic to infants' developing endocrine and reproductive systems.

Researchers tested the urine of 163 babies (2 to 28 months old) to find out how much, if any, phthalates infants may be absorbing through their skin from common baby products. What their research revealed: All of the babies had at least one type of phthalate in their urine at "measurable levels," and 80% had "measurable amounts" of at least seven types of phthalates (which are used to produce fragrances and soften plastics and rubber).

Using baby lotions, shampoos, and powder within the past 24 hours significantly upped infants' levels of certain phthalates -- especially in babies under 8 months old, who are at increased risk because their body systems are still developing. And youngsters whose moms said they used baby products more often also had higher levels.
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Categories: Children's Health, Health & Wellness,

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