Chemicals in plastics damage babies' brains and should be banned immediately, expert group says

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Synthetic chemical substances called phthalates are harmful children's brain development and for that reason should be immediately banned from consumer products, according to a group of scientists and medical researchers from Project TENDR.

Project TENDR, which stands for Targeting Environmental Neuro-Development Hazards, is a group of volunteer scientists, medical researchers and child advocates attempting to research and reduce children's contact with neurotoxic chemicals and pollutants.

"What we want to accomplish is to move the general public health community, incorporating regulators, toward this target of elimination of phthalates," said lead author Stephanie Engel.

"We've enough evidence right now to take into account the impact of these chemicals on a good child's risk of focus, learning and behavioral disorders," said Engel, a good professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Well being.

"I hope that paper will act as a wake-up phone to comprehend that early life exposure to this class of chemicals is affecting our kids," said toxicologist Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute for Environmental Health and wellbeing Sciences, and also the National Toxicology Software. She was not mixed up in paper.

"Once you have the same kind of findings repeated found in multiple populations, done by diverse investigators using different tools and techniques and you retain coming up with the same finding, I think you can get started to express that the info is pretty distinct," Birnbaum said.

CNN reached out for comment from the trade association American Chemistry Council.

"While we are motivated by continuous study efforts in to the science and overall health of phthalates, we are worried about the over interpretation of studies that contain not established a good causal website link between phthalates and human adverse health results," explained Eileen Conneely, senior director of the chemical substance products and technology division of ACC.
'Everywhere chemicals'

Called "everywhere chemical compounds" because they are so common, phthalates are put into consumer products to help make the plastic even more versatile and harder to break.

Phthalates are found in a huge selection of auto, home, foodstuff and personal care items: food packaging; detergents; vinyl flooring, attire, pieces of furniture and shower curtains; motor vehicle plastics; lubricating natural oils and adhesives; rainfall and stain-resistant goods; and scores of products including shampoo, soap, hair spray and nail polish, where they make fragrances go longer.

Phthalates should be listed among the elements on item labels, unless they are actually added as part of the scent. Under current US Food and Medicine Administration regulations, phthalates could be merely labeled "fragrance," even though they could be up to 20% of the merchandise, studies say.

Phthalates are also found in PVC plumbing and building products and things such as for example medical tubing, lawn hoses, and some children's playthings. Globally, about 8.4 million metric tonnes of phlathates and other plasticizers happen to be consumed annually, regarding to European Plasticizers, a business trade association.

Studies have connected phthalates to childhood obesity, asthma, cardiovascular issues, cancers and reproductive challenges such as for example genital malformations and undescended testes found in baby males and low sperm counts and testosterone amounts in adult males.