Babies exposed to a common plasticizer before birth spend a week less in the womb than do those without evidence of exposure, researchers have found.
In their study, pediatrician Giuseppe Latini of Perrino Hospital in Brindisi, Italy, and his colleagues tested blood from 84 newborns' umbilical cords for the presence of di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) and mono-ethylhexyl-phthalate (MEHP). The body converts DEHP, an ingredient in plastics used to make toys and wrap foods, into MEHP.
The researchers looked for relationships among factors that included blood concentrations of the phthalates, the pregnancy's duration, and the infant's birth weight.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.