Navigation Links
In Toys and More, Are Chemicals Safe or Harmful?
Date:9/5/2009

New law tightens use of phthalates, but industry says hazard isn't proven,,,,

SATURDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Chemicals with the tongue-twisting name of phthalates (pronounced THAL ates) are nearly ubiquitous in consumer products, found in items from soaps, lotion and cosmetics to plastics and toys.

A little over a decade ago, environmental organizations such as the Environmental Working Group began to focus on phthalates and have been working ever since for tighter regulation or, in some cases, bans.

On the other side are groups such as the American Chemistry Council, representing the industries that produce phthalate-containing products. It says it supports "science-based product safety decisions."

If you're a consumer, chances are extremely high that you've been exposed to phthalates, said Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group. "About 95 percent of people have measurable levels of these chemicals, the phthalates, in them," she said. Often younger women, partly because of cosmetic use, have higher levels, she said.

Over the past few years, researchers have uncovered multiple health hazards, either in animal or human studies, linked to phthalates. For instance, the chemicals have been found to lower sperm quality in men as well as testosterone levels, in turn perhaps setting them up for unhealthy abdominal obesity.

Pregnant women working in the beauty industry have been found at higher risk for giving birth to boys with birth defects.

Exposure to the chemicals also has been linked with early-onset puberty and with a higher risk of breast cancer later on in adulthood.

And a study released in late June suggested that low birth weight in babies was linked to their mothers' exposure to phthalates while pregnant.

To date, the strongest links between phthalates and health have focused on reproductive problems, said Shanna Swan, a professor and director of the Center for Reproductive Epidemiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York.

"The next wave is asthma and allergy," predicted Swan, a veteran researcher in the field. That link, between the chemicals and the asthma and allergy problems, she said, is getting stronger.

As the findings of potential health hazards have unfolded, environmentalists have pushed for stronger regulation, and in some cases they've succeeded.

Under a recent law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, children's toys and child-care articles cannot contain more than 0.1 percent of six different phthalates. The regulation took effect Feb. 10 of this year.

In addition, a report from the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences issued in late 2008 concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should examine whether combined exposure to phthalates can cause an adverse health effect. The council experts called for a cumulative risk assessment and suggested looking at other chemicals as well, not just chemicals within the phthalate family.

Lunder agreed with that recommendation. "We can't do this one chemical at a time," she said. What's crucial is to look at all chemicals in use, she said, adding that that's a task much easier said than done.

But looking at cumulative risk is important, Swan agreed. "We are getting multiple hits not only from phthalates [exposure] but other chemicals," she said.

On its Web site, the American Chemistry Council emphasizes the importance of first proving a hazard before removing chemicals from products.

For instance, in a statement issued April 2, Sharon Kneiss, a council vice president, protested decisions by some manufacturers to remove phthalates from some fragrance applications "without any scientific or regulatory basis." She contended that their use in fragrances does not present a hazard.

Chris Bryant, managing director of the council's chemical products and technology division, said that the organization welcomes reviews and more science on the effects of phthalates. And it supports the call for cumulative risk assessment and the study of the chemicals also underway by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, he said.

"These reviews will reaffirm the findings of scores of studies conducted by governmental agencies around the world that phthalates are safe for their intended uses," Bryant said.

More information

The Environmental Working Group has more on phthalates.



SOURCES: Sonya Lunder, Ph.D., senior analyst, Environmental Working Group, Washington, D.C.; Shanna H. Swan, Ph.D., professor and associate chairwoman for research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and director, Center for Reproductive Epidemiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, N.Y.; Chris Bryant, managing director, chemical products and technology division, American Chemistry Council, Arlington, Va.; American Chemistry Council


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. DaVitas Award-Winning Training Program for New Teammates Reaches Milestone With 100th DaVita Academy in Baltimore, Maryland
2. People who wear rose-colored glasses see more, University of Toronto study shows
3. Global Med Technologies(R) Licenses ElDorado(TM) Software Solutions to $3.5 Billion MedStar Health of Baltimore, MD
4. Night Time Cramps No More, Amazing Amish Formula from Caleb Treeze Organic Farm Provides Instant Relief
5. Cutting Medicaid Hospice Benefit Would Cost Florida More, Put Neediest Individuals at Risk
6. See More, Do More: Siemens Highlights New Generation of Interventional Imaging Systems for Cardiology at ACC
7. PTSD associated with more, longer hospitalizations
8. Hand-held computers prod older adults to exercise more, Stanford study shows
9. TyRx Pharma, Inc. Announces Presentation of Results to Benefit Women with Breast Implants (In-Vivo Efficacy Study Regarding AIGISRx DEB) at the Plastic Surgery 2007 Meeting on October, 28 2007 in Baltimore, MD
10. Newer antidepressants led to less, not more, teen suicides
11. New study expands the list of hazardous chemicals in smokeless tobacco
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
In Toys and More, Are Chemicals Safe or Harmful?
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... , ... Despite last week’s media reports hinting at a June rate hike ... March 2017 for an interest rate increase, according to Rajeev Dhawan of the Economic ... Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are of interest to the press for ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Hampshire (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... care products, has been honored with a 2016 When Work Works Award for its ... award, part of the national When Work Works project administered by the Families and ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at the ... their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , The ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Connor Sports, through its Connor Cares initiative, will ... Tamika Catchings Legacy Tour that will commemorate the Indiana Fever legend’s hall-of-fame career ... all forms and levels of the game, Connor Sports has committed to a significantly ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... , ... The Woodlands at John Knox Village , Florida’s first Life ... living and healing, celebrated its grand opening, today. The Woodlands at John Knox Village ... Empowered Staff. , “This is an incredibly fulfilling time for John Knox Village as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016  Granger Diagnostics today ... test for wounds and infections. This test ensures ... and select viruses. The test requires only a ... David G. Bostwick , MD, ... to facilitate wound healing: "We are excited to ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016 ... the precision of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis ... the appointment of Professor Clive Morris ... leadership across the clinical development programme, scientific collaborations, ... help deliver significant improvements in clinical outcomes for ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... -- Cirujanos holandeses han puesto en marcha ... a compartir sus mejores prácticas por el mundo y ... de Europa, África, Asia y ... que combina la transmisión en vivo con mensajería instantánea ... Educación   "Imagine un médico de Medicines sans ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: