Experts Warn on Effect of Plastic Chemicals (Phthalates) on Babies’ Brains


Plastics happen to be a common factor in these industries. To keep up with the changes, market players have adopted various chemicals to make their plastics better over the years. Among these chemicals, Phthalates have become the most popular. While the manufacturers and consumers have enjoyed the convenience they offer in finished products, some health professionals call for their elimination. Recently, Project TENDR expressed concern regarding the use of phthalates on future generations.

Studies on the Phthalates

According to a report by Project TENDR, more than 30 studies were exploring the effect of prenatal exposure to various phthalates by 2019. It adds that long-term studies in at least 11 countries or territories globally have been conducted for a similar purpose. The group investigates the link between phthalate exposure and long-term impacts on fetuses and infants’ neurodevelopment in children.

It says that there have been noticeably strong associations of signs of affection deficit hyperactivity and delinquent behaviors with exposure. They conclude that the phthalates are causing damage to the development of children’s brains.

Of the studies referred to, one study attempted to establish a connection between the levels of phthalates in urine to an ADHD diagnosis. The researchers suggested that children from mothers who had the highest levels of phthalates in their urine in the second trimester had the chances of diagnosis in comparison to those of mothers with lower levels thrice.

In another study, the researchers found a link between phthalate exposure and lower IQ, and poor working memory. As per the study, in utero, exposure to higher levels of phthalates had seven points in their IQ less than those with less exposure. The study also found a reduction in perceptual reasoning and verbal comprehension in kids with the highest risks.

Opinions on the Possible Dangers Arising From Phthalates

If you were to ask whether phthalates are harmful, you would get different responses depending on the group’s interests. Each individual all group will have their reasons for supporting or fighting the use of phthalates. Project TENDR wants plastics banned.

The group, whose members are volunteer scientists, health professionals, and children, focuses on reducing children’s exposure to neurotoxins. Their recommendation to eliminate phthalates sounds worthwhile. However, the FDA says they still have to review the impact for passing a final judgment.

Proving a link between exposure and a particular outcome in clinical investigations is sometimes hard due to human experimentation regulations. Thus most of the studies regarding environmental toxins are based on observation causing regulatory authorities to be slow in taking action without substantial proof. Recommendations on banning some products may not seem viable, but the price of ignoring them is too high.