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The exposure of pregnant women to certain phenols may disrupt growth of boys during their first years of life – and even in utero. This is what reports a large study* involving several teams of French and american.
These phenols are endocrine disruptors. Those who are involved in this study are parabens (used as preservatives in many cosmetics and healthcare products), triclosan (found in toothpaste and soaps).
Studies, first carried out in vitro and then in animals, have shown that these compounds disrupt the hormonal mechanisms involved in growth and weight gain. And then, of pregnant women between 2003 and 2006 were followed and the growth of their child was assessed during pregnancy and then up to 3 years. 520 little boys were included in the study.
It has first of all shown that 95 % of women were exposed to these phenols. And then, she has proven that exposure to triclosan was associated with a smaller size of the fetus in the third trimester of pregnancy, while the parabens were associated with increased weight at birth and 3 years of the child (which is a risk factor for obesity in adulthood).
New research will be conducted, this time focusing on the small girls, including the sensitivity to phenols could be different.
* published in the journal Epidemiology, September 2014