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Amy Schauers
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Baby Products May Contain Harmful Chemicals

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A new study released proposes that baby products including lotion, baby powder, and baby shampoo may be exposing babies to harmful chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates are used to make plastics flexible and stabilize fragrances and are found in many consumer products.

The journal Pediatrics, Sathyanarayana, from the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues measured the levels of nine different phthalate products in urine from diapers of 163 infants aged 2 to 28 months. All of the urine samples contained at least one phthalate at measurable levels and 81 percent of the samples had measurable amounts of seven or more phthalates.

“At this time, we do not know what the potential long-term health effects might be, but there is a large body of animal studies to suggest developmental and reproductive toxicity (from phthalates) and a few human studies with changes in health outcomes as well,” Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana told Reuters Health.

Currently U.S. manufacturers are not required to list phthalate contents on package labels.