Plastics 'Feminizing' Baby Boys

In utero exposure linked to different behaviors
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 16, 2009 3:30 AM CST
Updated Nov 16, 2009 5:25 AM CST
Researchers have discovered a link between plastics exposure and "feminine" behavior in boys, though they haven't discovered a difference in girl babies exposed to plastics in utero.   (?nosha)

(Newser) – Pregnant women's exposure to plastics is "feminizing" the baby boys they give birth to, researchers have found. Heightened in utero exposure to plastics is linked to reduced interest by boys in "rough and tumble" play and also to more typically masculine toys, like trucks, trains and guns, found the study by New York's University of Rochester.

Two types of phthalate—DEHP and DBP—were strongly linked with the more feminine play in the boys, but had no impact on girls.The findings are the latest indicating that hormone-disrupting chemicals in household products are affecting children's development. The industry insists the chemicals are safe.