Prenatal Phthalates Exposure Linked To Decreased Lung Function In Childhood: Reports

In cosmetics, cleaning products, kids’ toys, and several kinds of plastics– the one binding factor is Phthalates. Often referred to as plasticisers, phthalates are used to make plastic more durable. Consuming foodstuffs that have come in contact with phthalates (which are found in food packaging) is the most common form of exposure to these chemicals.

Asthma, autistic spectrum disorders, obesity, type II diabetes, ADHD, breast cancer, low IQ, abnormalities in reproductive development, and problems with male fertility have all been related to phthalates in the past decade. One of the more recent studies on these chemicals has revealed that prenatal exposure to them can reduce childhood lung functioning.

According to the study, led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), phthalates have a severe tendency to seep into the environment we live in. Since phthalates can pass through the placental barrier, human exposure to them can begin even before birth in the mother’s womb itself.

The study incorporated 641 mother-child pairs from the Gipuzkoa and Sabadell birth cohorts of the INMA Project. The mothers’ urine samples taken during their pregnancy were used to analyse gestational phthalate exposure. Spirometry (used to diagnose asthma and conditions that affect breathing) was used to measure the children’s lung function between ages 4 to 11 years.

Two children’s performance on two lung function parameters was found to be decreased. The first of these parameters was forced vital capacity (FVC) which measures the maximum amount of air a person can exhale, and the second was forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), which gauges the maximum amount of air exhaled in the first second of exhalation. This decrease was common throughout all developmental phases.