​Plastic Is Bad for Boys -- Even Before They're Born

pregnant woman

Yikes! Might want to put down that bottle of water, pregnant mamas -- unless, you know, you're drinking out of a glass bottle. In case you needed yet another reason to avoid plastic while growing a baby inside of you, a new study shows that certain chemicals in plastic can alter baby boy's genitals before they're born. Yes, really.

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After analyzing 700 infants, the study found that exposure to phthalates, a certain type of chemical found in plastic, can change the way the male reproductive tract develops. The change is small, and there doesn't appear to be anything clinically wrong with boys' who were exposed to the chemical, according to one reproductive health scientist, but there's a noticeable change nonetheless -- and it could portend trouble down the road.

According to Live Science, newborn boys who were exposed to the highest levels of one phthalate in particular, diethylhexyl phthalate, while in utero, had an "anogenital distance" (the distance from the anus and the genitals) that was 4 percent shorter than little ones born to mamas with the lowest levels. Researchers involved in the study said that a shortened anogenital distance could signal incomplete masculinization. They still aren't sure if the change is permanent and/or if it would mean further problems down the line.

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Even though the findings are technically small, no doubt, it's still worth it to avoid plastic as much as possible during pregnancy. It seems like researchers have only touched the tip of the iceberg with this subject, and if they're finding small things now, who knows what they'll discover in the future? When it comes to your baby in his most vulnerable state, do you really want to take any chances?

Did you avoid plastic while pregnant?

 

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