There are calls for public health authorities to intervene to reduce the use of phthalates, following research suggesting that maternal exposure during pregnancy leads to shorter pregnancy duration and smaller head circumference. Phthalates may be used in coatings for tablets, or in perfumes, nail polish and eye makeup; household cleaning products; home flooring and wall coverings; and food packaging and medical devices.
Phthalate metabolites can cross the placenta and have been found in amniotic fluid, placental tissue, cord blood and neonatal meconium. Exposure to chemicals during crucial periods of development can impact functioning of specific systems.
The study found an inverse association between prenatal exposure to the low molecular weight phthalate, DEP or diethyl phthalate and pregnancy duration. Increased exposure to mono-oxo-iso-nonyl phthalate (MOiNP) was linked to reduced head circumference in newborns.
These results follow earlier studies with similar findings – that exposure to certain phthalate metabolites are associated with a greater chance of preterm and spontaneous births, along with a smaller head circumference.
It is thought that phthalate exposure can impair placentation in early pregnancy by inducing oxidative stress. This contributes to preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction, both of which are characteristic of preterm birth.
The study highlights the need for legislation restricting the use of chemicals like phthalates and the need for pregnant women to reduce as much as possible their exposure to toxins in their environment, and through anything they place on their skins or ingest.
There are a significant number of environmental toxins in our lives. It is important to be aware of this and also how to minimalise exposure and now to help your body to clear these toxins. Consulting a qualified Naturopath can help you understand the dangers and support your health as well as that of your unborn child. So whether you are considering starting a family, having more children or are already pregnant, there are many ways you can help ensure that you have a happy, healthy baby.
To arrange a consultation at True Medicine call 07 5530 1863.