Wearing Make-up Harmful During Pregnancy? Exposure To Beauty Chemicals Linked With Lower IQ In Children, Study Claims

A controversial study claims to have found a link between wearing make-up during pregnancy and lower IQ scores in children. It it a little complex, but very educative. Read below:
Exposure to the highest levels of two phthalate chemicals led to a lowering of IQ scores at age seven by more than six points, US scientists found.
The scientists claim the link remained after taking account of known factors that can influence child IQ, such as the mother's intelligence and the quality of the home environment.

Phthalates are man-made chemicals thought to interfere with the natural hormones that are crucial to overall health.
They are found in everything from PVC flooring and shower curtains to car dashboards – and may also be in our food. Tiny particles can enter our systems either through breathing or eating.
In make-up, they are used by manufacturers to help dissolve other ingredients into a consistent solution, such as making nail polish less brittle. 
Previous studies have linked them to diabetes and asthma. They have also been blamed for feminising the brains of baby boys and last year the World Health Organisation warned they have 'serious implications for health.

Researchers in the New York investigated four phthalates and demonstrated an association with two, known as DnBP and DiBP.
Both are found in a wide range of consumer products including dryer sheets, vinyl fabrics, lipstick, hairspray, nail polish and some soaps.

'The magnitude of these IQ differences is troubling,' said Professor Robin Whyatt, from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, who took part in the study.
'A six or seven-point decline in IQ may have substantial consequences for academic achievement and occupational potential.'
The scientists assessed the pthalate exposure of 328 New York City women and their children, all of whom were from low-income communities.
Break down chemicals from the compounds left after they had been processed in the body were measured in urine samples during the last three months of pregnancy.
Children of mothers whose exposure to DnBP and DiBP was in the top 25 per cent had IQ scores 6.6 and 7.6 points lower, respectively, than those of mothers exposed to the lowest concentrations.
Associations were also seen for specific aspects of IQ, such as perceptual reasoning, working memory and processing speed.
None of the women had been exposed to unusual levels of the chemicals, the researchers said, whose findings were reported in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE.

Lead author Dr Pam Factor-Litvak, also from Columbia University, said:
'Pregnant women across the United States are exposed to phthalates almost daily, many at levels similar to those that we found were associated with substantial reductions in the IQ of children.
'While there has been some regulation to ban phthalates from toys of young children, there is no legislation governing exposure during pregnancy, which is likely the most sensitive period for brain development.
'Indeed, phthalates are not required to be on product labelling.'

The scientists urged pregnant women not to microwave food in plastic containers, to avoid scented products as much as possible, and not to use certain recyclable plastics.

In an earlier study, the same researchers found negative associations between exposure to DnBP and DiBP in the womb and children's mental and motor development and behaviour at age three.
Earlier this year, the same group found that babies exposed to high levels of phthalates while in the womb are up to 78 per cent more at risk of getting asthma.
Dr Whyatt, said: '
These chemicals are very widely used in very high volume and they are not generally listed on labels.
'There are some simple steps families can take. Avoid using plastic containers and as much as you can store your food in glass jars in the fridge.'
She also suggested women check their make-up on the internet for phthalates.
Phthalates are thought to be ‘endocrine-disrupting chemicals’, or EDCs, capable of interfering with the way our glands produce hormones.
The cosmetics industry is particularly sensitive to suggestions that some ingredients might be EDCs.
In 2012, the Danish Consumer Council asked manufacturers to stop using 17 EDCs.
The makers of 58 brands agreed, but companies behind some of the world’s biggest brands did not, and found their products named and shamed by the council.
Last year a World Health Organisation study concluded, to do nothing now was to ignore a vital lesson from the past.
We should ‘ban chemicals in order to reduce exposure early, even when there are significant but incomplete data but before there is significant and long-lasting harm’.
Not all experts agree — in September, 18 editors of pharmacology and toxicology journals signed a letter saying the EU’s proposals were driven by ‘scientifically unfounded precaution’, defying ‘common sense, well-established science and risk assessment principles’.
It has since been revealed that 17 of the 18 editors had worked with the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, tobacco, pesticide or biotechnology industries.

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