Premature Babies Most at Risk from Phthalates
Many studies were performed to figure out the reason for inflammation in premature babies. It was eventually found that the reason was phthalates. Phthalates are compounds added to plastics in order to make them more flexible. The number of newborns affected by phthalates clearly displays that babies are being exposed to too much of this material.
Inflammation in a newborn can be extremely dangerous for a baby’s health. It is known to lead to other serious health conditions that can be life threatening for a baby. For example, it could lead to bronchopulmonary dysplasia which is a chronic lung disorder.
It may be difficult for some people to picture how such small children could be exposed to too much plastic; especially when they are being protected by all the people in their lives. To the extent that most premature babies are kept safe and closely monitored in the neonatal intensive care unit of a hospital.
Contrary to what you may believe, it is in the intensive care unit that babies are influenced by the largest amount of phthalates. This is because in neonatal intensive care, the newborns are hooked up to many different kinds of machines. They are thus exposed to a lot of plastic. The tubing used, for perhaps helping the infant breathe or provide it with nutrition, is what contains the most amount of phthalates.
Unfortunately, every one in eight babies is born prematurely in the United States. The tubing is used to help the child survive. If it weren’t for it; the baby would probably die. Although the equipment is there to save that child’s life, it may just end up harming it. I guess you could say that this is all just the least bit ironic!
Phthalates are also present in many other products. Some of these products include: baby toys, vinyl flooring, blinds, various packaging, and household cleaners. There are many other products aside from the ones listed that contain phthalates. The first step to take, especially if you have a newborn in the family, is to minimize the amount of phthalates in the house and make your house as safe as possible.