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Advice from Harvard Health Publishing points the finger at Phthalates during pregnancy. Babies exposed could be at a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes. 



Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.health.harvard.edu

New advice from Harvard Health Publishing focuses on dangers of Phthalates during pregnancy. 


It’s common knowledge that women who are pregnant should stay clear of vices like alcohol & tobacco. Also some foods like sushi and soft cheeses. 


However most are usually unaware that lipstick, perfume and many common lotions should probably not be used neither!


That is because they each contain a chemical called Phthalates. It is nearly impossible to avoid Phthalates as they appear in thousands of everyday household items. 


There are in numerous plastic products in particular many kinds of bulk packaging for cosmetics and beauty products. 


The problem with Phthalates during pregnancy is that they act like hormones disrupting male genital growth. They are also known to increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. 


It is known that the risks they present begin before birth. One study demonstrated that children with mother who were exposed to Phthalates during pregnancy has decreased motor functions in many cases. These motor skills are essential to our everyday functioning. 


Furthermore it was demonstrated that the children of mothers who have been exposed showed problems with language development. 


Despite it being impossible to avoid Phthalates all together there are some precautions women can take:


  • Reduced exposure to plastic packaging. Replace where possible with glass, ceramic or aluminium foil pouches for food & drinks. 
  • Gravitate towards foods that do not use plastic packaging. and opt for foil packaging instead.  
  • If you do have food using plastic packaging do not microwave it and instead wash it by hand. 
  • Avoid fragrances as Phthalates are a common ingredient. 
  • Check out handmade and artisan cosmetics as they tend not to use any chemicals, or significantly less. 
  • Go for the DIY approach! Coconut Oil, Honey, Baking Soda and vinegar can be used to replace many commercial beauty products. 
  • Use soap and water to wash your hands!


Following birth just be mindful of the chemicals that can cause the most harm. Keep your products all natural and fragrance free wherever possible. 


Limit plastics in the house and keep up with the latest DIY advice and trends for household products. Especially toys & baby bottles. 


It’s very difficult to escape all the harms around us, but with a little thought and initiative we can make our environments much safer for children.