An article published on September 2, 2015 by The Economic Times reports on a new study that investigated the link between exposure to phthalates and the risk of pregnancy loss. The study was published on August 6, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology. Researchers Di Mu and colleagues from Peking University, China, analyzed the urine of 132 women who had miscarriages and 172 healthy pregnant women for eight phthalate metabolites. They found that pregnancy loss was associated with higher levels of three urinary phthalate metabolites originating from diethyl phthalate (DEP, CAS 84-66-2), diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP, CAS 84-69-5), and di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP, CAS 84-74-2). The researchers suggest that the discovered association should be studied further. The study is the first epidemiological research on non-work-related exposure to phthalates that provides evidence for a possible link with miscarriage among a general population. Phthalates are used as plasticizers in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and have also been detected in food packaging. DiBP and DnBP are listed on the Authorization List under the European regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).

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The Economic Times (September 3, 2015). “Chemicals in soaps & shampoos may up miscarriage risk.

Science Daily (September 2, 2015). “Exposure to phthalates could be linked to pregnancy loss.

Food Packaging Forum (October 4, 2012). Phthalates.


Mu, D. et al. (2015). “Levels of phthalate metabolites in urine of pregnant women and risk of clinical pregnancy loss.Environmental Science & Technology 49(17):10651-10657.