The results of research on the influence of phthalates on the development of children’s brains are worrying

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

The TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neuro-Development Risks) project consists of a group of volunteer scientists, health workers and children’s rights advocates working to study and reduce children’s exposure to neurotoxic chemicals and pollutants.

Their first research showed that synthetic chemicals called phthalates, which are found in plastic products, harm the development of children’s brains and that they must therefore be immediately banned for use when making consumer products.

These dangerous chemicals are found in many products that we use every day for both the house and personal hygiene, as well as for furniture and shower curtains, and in addition it is also used in plastic for food packaging, some hair and nail polishes.

Phthalates are added to consumer products to make plastics more flexible and durable.

Among other things, studies have shown a clear link between phthalates and childhood obesity at an early age, but also with various health problems such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer and reproductive problems.

“We have enough evidence to be concerned about the impact of these chemicals on children’s brain development,” said Stephanie Engel, a research leader and professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina.

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

This is not the end of a long list of bad news – a link was found between phthalate exposure and poor memory in children, as well as that children who were exposed to higher levels of phthalates in the uterus had an intelligence level seven points lower than children with less exposure. Decreased perceptual reasoning and verbal understanding were also observed.

In December 2019, the Scan4Chem application was launched in Serbia, which gives users the opportunity to, by scanning the product barcode, send an inquiry to the supplier and find out if the product contains some of the so-called “Substances of concern” listed by the European Chemicals Agency. According to the Law on Chemicals, manufacturers are obliged to provide consumers with information on whether these substances are present in their products only if there are more than 0.1 percent of these substances. However, this Law also obliges them that, if the consumer asks them for information on the composition of the product, they will answer that question.

The application was then launched in 13 European countries, in the national languages, and Serbia is the only country outside the European Union that has the application available in its own language.

Jovana Canić

Source: Energetski portal Srbije by

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