Monday, October 15, 2012
ADHD and phthalates.
Prenatal (before birth) exposure to a group of chemicals called phthalates has been linked with ADHD like symptoms in a study published on the Environmental Health Perspectives website on January 28, 2010. Phthalates are a group of chemicals often added to plastics to give them their plastic-flexible like qualities, as well as in paints, lubricants and detergents (yep the ones in your supermarket). They are also found in some personal car products such as nail polish, liquid soap, shampoos, perfume and eye shadow. They are pretty well everywhere in our homes.
The study found that mothers with higher levels of the phtalates in their blood reported poorer behaviour in their children (ages 4-9 years), including typical ADHD symptoms. However, ADHD is not the only problem associated with phthaltes. Phthaltes have been linked in both animal experiments and human research with sexual organ and sexual behaviour dysfunction to name a just a few of the problems they can create.
Phthaltes are considered endocrine disruptors because, at incredibly low levels, they interfere with hormones such as estrogen in the body. The most vulnerable stage of these chemicals to have an impact is on the developing foetus in pregnant mothers.
In another study in the Journal of Paediatrics, February 2010, the use of baby personal care products such as lotions, shampoos and powder was associated with higher levels of phthalates in the babies blood.
The message is to become aware of the chemicals in your home and reduce the exposure to everyone but particularly to mums to-be. You can find a lot more on toxic chemical exposure in my book “Is Your Home Making You Sick”