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New Scientific Evidence Suggests Humans Resistant to Phthalate Effect on Lab Rodents

Sharpe et al. Study Finds Dose High Enough to Cause Adverse Effect in Rats and Mice Has No Effect in Male Marmosets

ARLINGTON, Va., June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today announced that strong new evidence has emerged that phthalates may not affect the reproductive development of humans, as opposed to the effects seen in some rats and mice. A study by McKinnell et al. shows no reproductive effects from phthalates in marmosets. In research conducted in the Edinburgh, Scotland, laboratory of Dr. Richard Sharpe, doses of a phthalate in concentrations high enough to cause adverse effects in the reproductive systems of male rodents were given to pregnant marmosets monkeys--which are primates-- and thus much more similar to humans than are rodents. Males born to the pregnant monkeys showed no gross testicular structural damage, and no other effects on the reproductive system development, male hormone levels, no hypospadias, which are malformations of the urethra in males, or on their number of germ cells, all the way through to adulthood. The researchers also separately dosed infant male marmosets, and detected no significant effects on their germ cells as they developed.

ACC Managing Director, Chris Bryant, issued the following statement:

"This new research adds significantly to earlier work, and increases the overall weight of scientific evidence that suggests primates, which include humans, are more resistant to the effects of phthalates than are lab rodents. Japanese research published in 2006 by Tomonari et al. showed that huge doses of a phthalate that can affect rodents showed no testicular effects in developing infant marmosets. It is worth noting that there are significant differences even between rats and mice in the way they react to phthalates. So it is not at all surprising that there would be significant differences between rodents and primates."

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care(R), common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $689 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

SOURCE American Chemistry Council
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