Baby teethers may contain harmful chemicals: study
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Baby teethers may contain harmful chemicals: study

12:00 PM, 8th December 2016
A new study warns that most popular baby teethers contain hormone-disrupting chemicals.
A new study warns that most popular baby teethers contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. (File photo)

WASHINGTON DC, US: Bisphenol-A (BPA), parabens and antimicrobials are widely used in personal care products and plastics. Most governments across the globe have banned or restricted some of these compounds used in certain products for babies and kids. But a new study warns that most popular baby teethers contain hormone-disrupting chemicals in them, though these chemicals are banned from use in products for children.

Now a study by the American Chemical Society researchers has warned that 100 percent of pacifiers tested contained Bisphenol A (BPA), Bisphenol S (BPS) or Bisphenol F (BPF) - alleged endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

Most also contained parabens and antimicrobials such as triclosan and triclocarban.

The study is published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The scientists analysed 59 solid, gel-filled or water-filled teethers purchased online in the US for 26 potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Although most of the products were labelled BPA-free or non-toxic, all of them contained BPA.

EDCs are found in thousands of everyday products, ranging from plastic and metal food containers to detergents, flame retardants, toys and cosmetics.

“The gel and water-filled teethers have some additives in them such as paraben, which can affect the endocrine system. These alternatives are equally toxic,” said Kurunthachalam Kannan a research scientist at New York State Department of Health.

The study also showed that the compounds leached out of the products' surfaces into water.

Based on estimates of average use time and the body weight of a 12-month-old baby, calculations advise that exposure to BPA and other regulated EDCs in teethers would be lower than the European standards for temporary tolerable daily intake levels. Though, these thresholds are set for individual compounds. Current regulations do not account for the accumulation of multiple EDCs, note the researchers.

Additionally, not all chemicals measured in the study are regulated. The investigators said the findings could be used to develop appropriate policies to protect infants from exposure to potentially toxic chemicals found in teethers.

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