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Chemical Found In Personal Care Products Associated With Preterm Birth

monHey! How’s your day? Debilitating Braxton Hicks contractions like me? No?

Well, I’m still going to rain on your parade. You know, give you yet another thing to worry about because you clearly don’t have enough on your mind right now what with all the life you are busy creating.

Apparently some of the stuff that you’re using to make yourself pretty now that you’re pushing maximum density could be hurting your baby.

Yep.

As The Huffington Post reports, your personal care products are not so much caring about you personally. In fact, they contain a chemical that could increase your risk of preterm delivery. Preterm birth is defined as the birth of an infant before 37 weeks of pregnancy. It’s the leading cause of death or long-term neurological disabilities in children and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one out of every eight children is now born prematurely.

Phthalates. I can’t say it, but I can type it, and that’s the name of this chemical that’s used in making plastics and other stuff like adhesives, detergents, soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, perfumes and deodorants. Phthalates mimic your hormones and can really mess with your system. And they aren’t just in personal care products. They’re also in certain processed and canned foods. So, you know, in addition to all the trans fat trying to kill you, there are the Phthalates.

According to HuffPo, “The study included 130 women in the Boston area who had given birth early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy, and 352 women who delivered at full term between 2006 and 2008. The researchers measured the levels of common phthalates such as DEHP in the women’s urine up to three times during their pregnancies. They found that women who had the highest levels of phthalate metabolites in their urine had a risk of preterm birth that was two to five times higher when compared with women who had the lowest levels.”

Bottom line: reduce your exposure to phthalates. So, in addition to not drinking, denying yourself the carnal pleasures of sushi, avoiding deli meats and tuna and all the rest of it, stop using your personal care products.

“For women who are interested in reducing their exposure, reducing use of personal care products, buying phthalate-free [products] when possible, and eating fresher foods may help, although research on that is limited,” said study researcher John Meeker, an associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences at University of Michigan School of Public Health.

But, it’s important to note that the study showed an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship, between phthalates and preterm birth. So don’t lose your mind over it. Just be aware.

Image: M. Bielanko

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