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Sustainability News

Chemical in soft plastics causes key changes in human placentas, Pitt study reveals

“There’s new evidence that the chemicals known as phthalates in plastics and other products alter two key hormones and a molecule that mediates inflammation in the human placenta. . . .

“The study’s lead author Jennifer J. Adibi of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, said people now have ‘ubiquitous exposure’ to phthalates, with 99 percent of women of child-bearing age having measurable exposure levels. Researchers continue working to determine what specific impacts, if any, those levels of chemical exposure have on fetuses and newborns.

“Phthalates are used in perfume, soap, shampoo, hair spray, nail polish, skin moisturizers, flexible plastic, shower curtains, plastic plumbing pipes, wood finishes, detergents, wallpaper and many other products.

“The CDC adds to the list: vinyl flooring, adhesives, lubricating oils, automotive plastics and plastic clothes such as raincoats. Other uses include plastic packaging film and sheets, garden hoses, inflatable toys, blood-storage containers, medical tubing and some children’s toys.”

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