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New Study: Pregnant women’s lipstick contains harmful plastic chemicals that could affect motor skills of kids

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A new study suggests that plastic chemicals found in pregnant women’s lipsticks could affect the motor skills of kids. Human-made chemicals in plastics, called phthalates are adversely impacting brain development in children. Scientists and health professionals from Project TENDR advised to immediately ban these phthalates from consumer products.

Plastic chemicals in pregnant women’s lipstick are harmful

Who would have thought that wearing lipstick is harmful to pregnant women? But a study from Project TENDR reveals that pregnant women who use lipsticks made with plastic chemicals could expose their kids to the danger of motor skills deficiency. A motor skill is a learned ability to make movements using the small muscles in our hands and wrists.

Project TENDR stands for Targeting Environmental Neuro-Development Risks. It works to research and minimizes children’s exposure to neurotoxic chemicals and pollutants.

“We have enough evidence right now to be concerned about the impact of these chemicals on a child’s risk of attention, learning, and behavioral disorders,” said Engel, a professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina.

The American Journal of Public Health said the strongest links have been found with hyperactivity, aggression, emotional reactivity. Also, other signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD because of phthalates exposure.

Researches related to phthalates exposure

Children of mothers with an extreme level of phthalates in their urine during the second trimester had three times the chance of getting ADHD as children with mothers who had lower levels.

“Almost one-third of the children in our study had below or well-below average motor skills. Children with even subtle motor problems often have difficulty participating in daily activities of childhood,” said Professor Pam Factor-Litvak.

Numerous personal care products like lipsticks, food packaging, detergents, clothing contain phthalates. As pregnant women might consume small amounts of these products unknowingly this leads to phthalates exposure.

Moreover, Julie Herbstman, an associate professor at Columbia University said that pregnant women should reduce their exposure to lipsticks and moisturizers that contain these chemicals by focusing on product labels.

“So I hope that this paper will act as a wake-up call to understand that early life exposure to this class of chemicals is affecting our children,” said toxicologist Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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