Could Phthalates Lower Your Child's IQ?

First Posted: Dec 11, 2014 02:04 AM EST

Chemicals found in certain beauty products, including nail polish, hairspray and even lipstick could lower your child's intelligence from in the womb.

"The magnitude of these IQ differences is troubling," said Prof. Robin Whyatt of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York. "A six or seven-point decline in IQ may have substantial consequences for academic achievement and occupational potential."

Researchers found that high exposure to phthalate chemicals could lower IQ scores at age seven by more than six points. Furthermore, the link remained after taking other factors into consideration, such as mother's intelligence and education.

For this study, researchers assessed the phthalate exposure of 328 New York City women and their children, all who came from low-income communities.

After the chemical compounds had been broken down, they were measured via urine samples in the body during the last three months of pregnancy.

Findings revealed that children of mothers who had been exposed to DnBP and DiBP was in the top 25 percent and had IQ scores 6.6 and 7.6 points lower than counterparts.

"Although we cannot conclusively deduce that phthalates are responsible for the adverse effects on children's development, the growing body of research certainly suggests that phthalates may not be as safe as previously thought and that steps should be taken at a national level to reduce exposure to these chemicals," concluded aid Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, who was not involved with the study, via Health Day.

More information regarding the findings can be seen via the journal Public Library of Science ONE.

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