In a new study published online on November 17, 2014 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Kelly Ferguson and her colleagues found an association between phthalate exposure and increased oxidative stress in pregnant women. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants and is considered important in a variety of adverse health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. The researchers of the Michigan School of Public Health, U.S. tested urine from 482 pregnant women in the Boston area, U.S. up to four times over the course of pregnancy. They were able to link increased levels of biomarkers of oxidative stress to levels of nine phthalate metabolites. The greatest association was detected with mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP), mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP), and mono-iso-butyl phthalate (MiBP). The researchers consider their findings of particular relevance to studies of birth outcomes linked to phthalate exposure.

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University of Michigan (November 17, 2014). “How phthalate exposure impacts pregnancy.Science Daily.


Ferguson, K. et al. (2014). “Urinary phthalate metabolites and biomarkers of oxidative stress in pregnant women: A repeated measures analysis.Environmental Health Perspectives (published online November 17, 2014)