Scientific Experts Report That Phthalates Impair Children’s Brain Development
A new report released in the American Journal of Public Health shows that substantial evidence links exposure to some phthalate chemicals with increased risks for child learning, attention, and behavioural problems. The authors of the study, who are working collaboratively as Project TENDR, are recommending that phthalates be eliminated from products that may lead to exposure of women of reproductive age, pregnant women, infants, and children. Project TENDR is an alliance of more than 50 top scientists, health professionals, and health advocates, based in the US.
Human exposure to phthalates ranges from foods to building materials to medical products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and other personal care products. To reduce exposures there needs to be a ban on phthalates in consumer products. The authors of the study are calling for a ban of the whole group of chemicals classed as ortho-phthalates, as there is substantial scientific evidence on harmful neurological impacts of several of these chemicals. In CHEM Trust’s view, in order to prevent “regrettable substitution” of one harmful phthalate with a similarly harmful phthalate, the chemicals should be restricted as a group.
Last year four phthalate chemicals DEHP, DBP, DIBP and BBP were restricted in the EU in many consumer products due to their impact on male fertility. However, phthalates, including those that have been restricted, can still be used on food contact materials (FCM). Meaning that we can still be exposed to these harmful chemicals through food packaging. CHEM Trust has been calling for the reform of the outdated FCM laws in order to protect humans, wildlife, and the environment from hazardous chemicals such as phthalates.
CHEM Trust recently published a new factsheet on the impacts of chemicals, including phthalates, on children’s brain development.