Phthalates during Pregnancy Cause Genital Defects in Boys

Here is one more reason to watch what you put on your skin during pregnancy. A new animal study has found that phthalates during pregnancy increases the likelihood of a genital defect in baby boys. The genital defect, called hypospadias, occurs when the baby boy's urethra exits the underside of the penis. Doctors have seen a near 100% increase of this type of defect since the 1960s. Phthalates are also linked to undescended testicles, smaller penises and overall feminization of males. Phthalates are so dangerous because they either mimic or block our natural hormones and male fetuses are especially vulnerable. According to "Theodore Schettler, a physician and science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, an environmental advocacy group. 'There's a huge animal database showing how exposures to phthalates during development can have effects at levels hundreds of times lower than these needed to show any impact on an adult,' he said. Timing of the exposure matters, and the most harm may occur between the eighth and 15th weeks of pregnancy, when a fetus' sexual differentiation starts, he said.
Timing of the exposure matters, and the most harm may occur between the eighth and 15th weeks of pregnancy
'If my testosterone dropped by 20 or 30 percent for a couple of days, it wouldn't matter,' he said. 'But for a developing fetus, it could matter a whole lot if there was a substantial drop in testosterone.' Phthalates fall into a group of chemicals called endocrine disruptors because they either mimic or block the action of human hormones. Phthalates interfere with the synthesis of testosterone. Bisphenol A, another controversial chemical that is found in plastics, can mimic female hormones. Consumers' concerns about bisphenol A, which has been used for years to make plastics stiff, have prompted some producers and retailers to announce in recent months that they would stop using and selling it." Phthalates are found in nail polishes, hair sprays, perfumes, shampoos, deodorants, soft plastic toys and much more. There is no easy way to determine if your beauty or household product contains phthalates unless it clearly states "phthalate free". During pregnancy, the safer the better so if you wont put it in your mouth, don't put it on your skin. More resources: Not Too Pretty (PDF)

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Comments 5
  • Anonymous

  • admin


    That is a great idea. I will try to put together a nice list in a new post of products types to avoid during pregnancy.

  • monika

    great information.i like your post.can you please give em a list about those products.

  • Things to Know When You Are Pregnant
    Things to Know When You Are Pregnant

    […] Genital defects in boys are really common with hair spray use. Brain damage in kids is also imperative with excessive chemical laden shampoos. During the first trimester of pregnancy, when a mother is exposed to these harmful chemicals, the greatest number of mishaps and chances of illnesses occur. Deformity called hypospadias also takes place during this time. A child born after the mother’s continued exposure to these agents may have greater risks of having this genital dysfunction. […]

  • Chris

    Very informative article, and a little scary. Do you have references to a small list of brand name products with phthalates? I wasn’t sure what to type in google to find them.

    Thank you.

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