Many environmental and public health officials are concerned about the potential health effects of phthalates, which are common chemicals used to make plastics softer and more pliable. In the first study to examine what effect in utero doses of phthalates have on the reproductive system of mice, Brown University toxicologists found that extremely high doses were associated with significant changes, such as a shortened reproductive lifespan and abnormal cell growth in mammary glands.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Female mouse fetuses exposed to very high doses of a common industrial chemical that makes plastics more pliable develop significant reproductive alterations and precancerous lesions as they grow up, according to a new toxicology study conducted at Brown University.
The administered doses of MEHP, the chemical that results when animals metabolize the industrial phthalate DEHP, were much higher than any normal environmental exposure that people or animals would encounter, said Mary Hixon, assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine (research) in The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a study co-author. (more…)