Plastics ingredients may shrink babies

By Janet Raloff, 14:50 PM July 1, 2009

An ingredient of the shrink-wrap plastic used to package foods may also shrink babies. Or so a provocative new study suggests.

The data, although far from definitive, would seem to justify further research — and pronto — on possible fetal stunting by phthalates, a family of widely used plasticizers and solvents.

In animals, fetal exposures to certain phthalates have been linked to reproductive-tract malformations, low birth weight and early births. Since phthalates are ubiquitous in comme...

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