Prenatal exposure to common household chemical linked to eczema

Allan Just, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues from the Columbia Centre for Children’s Environmental Health carried out research into the effects of butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP) on children, at Columbia University. Recent research suggested a link between exposure to BBzP and the development of eczema.

They collected urine samples from over 400 black and Dominican women living in New York City in the third trimester of their pregnancies. None of the women smoked and all but one had evidence of exposure to BBzP. The children of mothers with a higher concentration of BBzP in their urine had a 52% increased likelihood of developing eczema by the age of two.

They also tested the children involved for common allergies such as cockroach, dust mites and mice, to determine whether allergies may have played a role, and found no link. Prenatal exposure to BBzP may influence the risk of developing eczema in early childhood.

Source: Environmental Health Perspectives

June 2012


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