Mothers exposed to phthalates during pregnancy may give birth to boys with incomplete genital development and impaired testicular function.
Shanna Swan, a professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, authored a study recently, testing 106 expecting mothers’ urine for pthalates. They also looked at their babies at 12 months old, and found a correlation between the levels of pthalates in the mother’s body and certain physical traits, such as undescended testicles, smaller penis, and immature genital development.
Phthalates are an endocrine disruptor found in many everyday items, from PVC shower curtains to furniture to personal care products. Endocrine disruptors are seen by the body as hormones, and interfere with normal development, starting in the womb. If a male baby is exposed to something that lowers testosterone through interference, proper reproductive system growth doesn’t happen.