Is there Hidden Danger in Prenatal Phthalate Exposure?

Phthlalates May Cause Motor Skill Delays

Children who were exposed to certain phthalates while in the womb may be more likely to have delays in motor skill development, and may also suffer from delays in mental development and have behavioral problems, according to a recent study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Researchers followed the children of 319 non-smoking inner-city women who gave birth between 1999 and 2006. They measured metabolites of four phthalates in maternal urine as a marker of prenatal exposure, then evaluated the connection between the mother’s phthalate levels and the child’s mental, motor and behavioral development at age 3.

Researchers found that higher prenatal exposure to two of the phthalates significantly increased the odds of motor delay. Prenatal exposure to three of the phthalates was linked to behavioral problems that included emotionally reactive behavior, anxiety, depression, somatic complaints and withdrawn behavior.

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