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I came across an article today on Gawker.com that recapped a recent CBS’ 60 Minutes story on phthalates that some of you may find interesting. Apparently, doctors have some concern about phthalates, a chemical that “may present a risk” to the environment or human health. Phthalates are often found in plastics and are believed to disrupt hormone activity. Although phthalates are ubiquitous, we all have traces in our bodies and some preliminary studies even show that they may be causing a slow and steady “demasculinizing” of men.

Dr. Shanna Swan, an epidemiologist at the University of Rochester Medical School compared the levels of phthalates in a group of pregnant women with the health of the baby boys they gave birth to. She found that the higher the level of phthalates in the mother’s urine during pregnancy, the greater the problems occurred in young boys. Asked what she found in babies, Swan said, “We found that the baby boys were in several subtle ways less completely masculine.”


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The story goes on and on about what Congress is or isn’t doing and about the FDA, etc. The reality is phthalates can be found in a lot of things including shampoo, shower curtains, carpeting, and milk to name a few. There is no definitive answer on whether phthalates are harmful or what precautions men should take. What is clear is that if you want more answers and a thorough explanation on what research has shown, read more of the article here or watch the video. Be warned, the article is long!

Unplugged via Gawker

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