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Plastic Chemicals May Cause Low Birth Weight

July 22, 2009
General structure of phthalates, created using...
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Low birth weight is a primary concern for many new parents, and incidences of low birth weight are rising.  Some studies cite increased rates of C-sections, where doctors often encounter a baby not as fully developed as anticipated.  Predicting due dates is tough, because it’s often tough to remember exactly when and where a woman got pregnant.  But, then again, another study points out that babies exposed to the most chemicals also had a correlating effect of low birth weight:

Among babies born in a Shanghai hospital, those with low birth weight had significantly higher levels of phthalates in their cord blood and meconium, according to Renshan Ge, MD, of the Population Council and Rockefeller University in New York, and colleagues.

After adjusting for potential confounders, babies with the highest levels of a particular phthalate, di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), in their cord blood were 3.5 times more likely to have low birth weight than those with lower levels, the researchers reported online in the Journal of Pediatrics.

The American Council of Chemists has placed “persuasive” ads in on television and in print, extolling the virtues of plastics and their myriad of uses, but what if it puts our population at risk?  Well, according to memos from  other companies with chemical issues (Dole and Coca-Cola marketing to try to downplay the effects of BPA), the best way to get people to buy the products is to appeal to mothers.  What happens if the danger affects mothers and their unborn babies?

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