Plastics May Damage Brain Development

Jul 20th 2018 Posted by MDR

The dangers of plastic chemicals have been debated for a long time. Phtalates are used in plastics to make them more flexible, transparent and durable. 

Previous studies have shown these chemicals are present everywhere, widely used in our environment such as shampoos, building materials and more.

Studies have also shown that these chemicals can pass through the placenta and are also present in breast milk.

New research was done with pregnant rats fed a diet consistent with the levels of Phtalates seen in pregnant women. The researchers examined the Phtalate-fed offspring and found that they had fewer neurons and synapses in the high-level cognitive function areas of their brains. As adults, these rats exhibited significantly lower levels of cognitive function than normal rats.

This study shows that Phtalates levels in humans may negatively impact high level cognitive functions such as memory, decision-making, perception and mental flexibility. They may also be implicated in disorders such as autism and depression.

Due to the widespread prevalence of plastic chemicals in our environment, these results are extremely important and need to be followed up with additional studies.

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/early/2018/07/16/...

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