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Scott Kappes
Scott Kappes
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Chemicals Used in Baby Products May be Linked to Reproductive Problems

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A new study suggests that a chemical commonly found in baby shampoo and baby powder may be tied to reproductive problems. The chemicals, known as phthalates, also often found in perfumes and plastic have been shown to cause reproductive problems in animals. Environmental researchers suspect that phthalates may cause similar problems in humans.

Environmental researcher Rick Stahlhut, M.D, M.P.H. said, “It might be having a negative effect on ‘maleness,’ you might say. And that might have other repercussions down the line, such as sperm counts and so on,” he said.

The study, published in this month’s edition of Pediatrics shows a link between the use of baby products containing phthalates and phthalate urine content in infants. The data here is not conclusive by any means but experts say it should serve as a reminder to parents to be more cautious about the products that they use on their children.

Phthalates are usually not listed on a product’s label because they are usually found in fragrances. A label will often list only “fragrance” as an ingredient rather than the actual ingredients that make up the fragrance.

Concerned parents can look for products labeled “fragrance-free.”

Very few studies have been conducted involving phthalates and the both the FDA and the CDC say that more research is needed before phthalates can be declared unsafe.