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Prenatal exposure to household chemicals associated with lower child IQ

December 18, 2014

Children exposed to two common household chemicals, di-n-butyl phthalate and di-isobutyl phthalate, during pregnancy had significantly lower IQ scores than children exposed to lower levels of the chemicals, according to recent study findings.

Pam Factor-Litvak, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and colleagues measured prenatal urinary metabolites to assess exposure to five phthalates during the third trimester of pregnancy among 328 mothers from inner-city communities. They included: di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP), di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP), di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and diethyl phthalate. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children was administered to children at age 7 years to measure four areas of cognitive function associated with IQ.

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