Green Buckeye RN

EHN: Phthalates May Increase Risk of Preterm Births
August 4, 2009, 8:25 am
Filed under: News

 Aug 03, 2009

Meeker J, H Hu, DE Cantonwine, H Lamadrid-Figueralt, A Calafat, AS Ettinger, M Hernandez-Avila, R Loch-Caruso and MM Tellez-Rojo. 2009. Urinary phthalate metabolites in relation to preterm birth in Mexico City. Environmental Health Perspectives doi:10.1289/ehp.0800522.
Synopsis by Jonathan Chevrier, Ph.D. and Kathleen M. McCarty, Sc.D.

A new study conducted in Mexico provides evidence that women with higher exposure to phthalates may be more at risk of delivering premature babies.

Women with higher exposure to phthalates during their third trimester of pregnancy were up to four times as likely to have their babies early.

This is the first human study to investigate associations between exposure to phthalates and preterm birth rates. Other studies examining the link between urinary phthalate markers and gestational age at birth have found mixed results.

Early births are of concern because they are associated with long-term health problems and are the leading cause of neonatal mortality in the United States, accounting for more than one third of infant deaths. While causes are elusive, environmental factors may contribute to preterm births. It is hypothesized that phthalates may act as endocrine disruptors, mimicing the action of hormones in the body.

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