Long term exposure to certain substances commonly used in personal-care products such as soap and shampoo, food packaging, and other everyday products could be linked to pregnancy loss, warns a new study.
In this study involving more than 300 women, researchers from Peking University in Beijing, China, have found that certain phthalates – substances commonly used in everyday products – could be associated with miscarriage, mostly between five and 13 weeks of pregnancy.
The study provides evidence that exposure to these substances can affect the general population and not just those who work in factories of these products.
Researchers Jianying Hu and colleagues tested urine samples from 132 women who had miscarriages and 172 healthy pregnant women in China.
They found pregnancy loss was associated with exposure to higher levels of certain phthalates.
Many of these substances are included as ingredients in paints, medical tubes, vinyl flooring, soaps, shampoos and other items.
Previous research on phthalates had shown that long-term exposure to low levels of the some of these compounds harms lab animals’ health and can increase their risk for pregnancy loss.
Additionally, at least one study found that female factory workers exposed to high levels of phthalates through their work were at a higher risk for miscarriage.
The new study provides evidence of phthalates’ effects on pregnancy among women with non-occupational exposure.
The study appeared in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.