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Childhood Behavior, Cognitive Functioning Associated With Prenatal Phthalate Exposure

January 28, 2010: 01:52 PM EST
Pregnant women who have been highly exposed to a substance commonly added to consumer products reported more disruptive and problem behaviors in their children, according to a U.S. study. Phthalates – found in cosmetics, fragrances, shampoos, lotions, and housing items like vinyl flooring – were measured in the urine of mothers in a health study during their third trimester of pregnancy. Interviews were conducted among the mothers when their 188 children were four to nine years old to assess behavior and cognitive functioning. Phthalate exposure was significantly associated with problems with aggression, conduct, and emotional control, scientists said.
Stephanie M. Engel, Amir Miodovnik, et al., "Prenatal Phthalate Exposure is Associated with Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning", Environmental Health Perspectives, January 28, 2010, © National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
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