In an article published September 22, 2014 by The Wall Street Journal, journalist Shirley Wang reports on a new study linking phthalate exposure to asthma (previously reported on by the FPF). While the diagnosis of asthma increased by almost 3% between 1996 and 2010, the causes for non-allergic asthma remain poorly understood. Another recent study, carried out by Stefan Worgall and colleagues found that when a normally occurring fat type is not properly embedded in the cell wall of the lung, airways constrict. They were able to show this mechanism in both mice and human lung tissue and state that it may indicate why obesity is a risk factor for asthma. Neil Pearce, professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, asserts in the article that exposure to phthalates is widespread and thus the new findings linking phthalate exposure to asthma may be “potentially very important”.

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Shirley Wang (September 22, 2014). “Researchers shed light on asthma’s mysteries.The Wall Street Journal.