Seabird eggs found to be contaminated with potentially harmful phthalate chemicals
New research has discovered up to 6 types of phthalate chemicals in newly laid herring gull eggs. Phthalates are a group of chemical additives used in plastic production, often to make plastics softer and more flexible.
This study was published by researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Queensland, who investigated herring gull eggs collected from Cornwall, UK. 100% of the eggs collected contained at least one phthalate chemical, with some eggs containing up to 6. Read more about the study here.
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, are still being found in animals and their offspring.
Professor Jon Blount, one of the authors of the study, said:
“We need to look more deeply into the pervasive threats of plastics – not just the breakdown of plastic items themselves, but also the dispersal of the multiple chemicals they contain.
“Where do these end up, and what effects are they having on wildlife and ecosystems?”
CHEM Trust has long been concerned about the wide variety of uses of phthalates and their presence in everyday consumer products.
A recent publication from Project TENDR in the US made recommendations for urgent policy reforms following their investigation on phthalates and children’s brain development. Read our recent blog summarising the most recent scientific evidence on phthalates and why urgent policy action is needed.
Read more about the effects of chemical pollutants on wildlife and the environment.