Plastic chemicals 'may feminise boys' brains'
Chemicals used in plastics could be "feminising" the brains of baby boys, a study published today has suggested.
Research into pregnant women has shown those with a higher concentration of two phthalates in their urine produced sons less likely to play with male toys such as trucks and games like play-fighting.
The study, led by the University of Rochester Medical Centre and published in the International Journal of Andrology, examined the play of 145 pre-school children.
Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastics and recent studies have shown that the major source of human exposure to the two phthalates of most concern - di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and dibutyl phthalate, (DBP) - is through food, the researchers said.
The study showed higher concentrations of metabolites of DEHP and DBP were associated with less "male-typical" behaviour in boys in a play questionnaire.
No other phthalate metabolites measured in the womb was linked to the less-masculine behaviour and girls' play was not associated with phthalate levels in their mothers.
Earlier studies by the lead author of the study, Professor Shanna Swan, and others have shown that phthalate exposure during pregnancy might affect the development of genitals of both male rodents and baby boys.
Commenting on the latest research, Prof Swann said: "Our results need to be confirmed, but are intriguing on several fronts."
"Not only are they consistent with our prior findings that link phthalates to altered male genital development, but they also are compatible with current knowledge about how hormones mold sex differences in the brain, and thus behaviour. We have more work to do, but the implications are potentially profound."
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Survivor William Pooley is flown to US to give doctor with virus emergency blood transfusion
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
Tezenis removes 'crime scene' pants from Oxford Street store after backlash over 'rape' connotations
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
iOS 8 review: not an overhaul, but the iPhone is gradually growing up
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
£100 - £105 per day + Travel Scheme plus free professional training: Randstad ...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Are you a qualified secondary...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Science Teacher - NewportKey ...
£100 - £110 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Professional Training: Randstad E...