Seattle Children's Hospital Links Exposure to Phthalates During Early Pregnancy to Effects in the Fetus

Phthalates are man–made chemicals commonly found in household plastics, food and personal care products. Phthalates are used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl products such as food storage containers, shampoo, lotion makeup and perfume. Especially of interest to us at vedaPURE, this study supports the message that has been our company model for many years, namely that many body care products commonly used may contain harmful levels of phthalates.

The study reports that increases in exposure to certain phthalates during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with higher estrogen concentrations and lower testosterone concentrations in the fetus, thus increasing the chance of a genital abnormality in male babies at birth.

The researchers also found that having higher testosterone in pregnancy was associated with a lower chance of having a male baby with a genital abnormality, which means that anything that reduces testosterone ( like phthalates) will increase chances of having a male baby with a genital abnormality.

Be sure to purchase organic personal care products that do not contain phthalates or other chemicals such as preservatives.


- Buy organic dairy and organic meat products.

- Buy fresh or frozen fruits whenever possible. Avoid canned and processed foods.

- Look for items that are labeled phthalate or BPA–free.

- Use glass, stainless steel, ceramic or wood to hold and store foods instead of plastics, and do not microwave food in plastic.

- Do not heat a baby’s milk or food in plastics or put hot liquids in plastic products like sippy cups.

- Check plastic symbols and avoid plastics known to contain phthalates including numbers 3 (PVC and vinyl), 6 (polystyrene foam) and 7 (other, can contain BPA).

- Keep carpets and window sills clean because these are areas that can often collect phthalates.

Natalie Geary