A new study, published online on March 9, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology, shows that exposure to the common food contact substance diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) adversely affected reproductive function of female mice. Niermann and colleagues from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S. fed pregnant female mice with DEHP (20 μg/kg/day–750 mg/kg/day) from gestation day 11 until birth of the pups. The results indicate that prenatal DEHP exposure of 200 μg/kg/day led to an increased male-to-female ratio in comparison to controls. Moreover, depending on the dose and postnatal day, DEHP exposure caused reduced liver and ovarian weight and increased uterine weight and numbers of preantral follicles in ovaries in mouse offspring. Further, DEHP exposure of 20 μg/kg/day increased the time to pregnancy in the offspring and the highest dose of 750 mg/kg/day even caused loss of some pups. The authors conclude that future studies shall examine the mechanisms by which prenatal DEHP exposure causes the female reproductive outcomes.

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Niermann, S. et al. (2015). “Prenatal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) affects reproductive outcomes in female mice.Reproductive Toxicology 53, 23–32.