New Delhi: The reason why the incidence of preterm birth is rising can be due to the chemical used to make plastic containers for food and water. The study stated that roughly 10 percent of all preterm births in 2018 were tied to the chemicals known to disrupt the body’s hormones, which are used to make plastics more flexible and durable.
The culprit named was Phthalates, also known as everywhere chemicals, most commonly used to manufacture several plastic containers. Researchers at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine estimated that this compound is responsible for nearly 60,000 premature births a year in the United States.
The study, published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health stressed that pregnant women must be cautious not only about the food choices but also the environment of the food. Wrapping, packaging, and even plastic gloves worn by food handlers can pose a risk of preterm births that poses a risk.
How dangerous is phthalates?
Additionally, scientists emphasised that even if the to-be mother consumes phthalates once, it can enter the bloodstream and cross the placenta affecting the fetus. Furthermore, exposure to such chemicals, especially during pregnancy can make the unborn more prone to several health conditions. These conditions include low birth weight, preterm birth, and mental health disorders in children, such as autism and ADHD. Previous studies have also linked phthalates to childhood obesity, asthma, heart diseases, cancer and even reproductive issues.
The problem point here is that even after identify the culprit, it is still used in majority of the containers. Health officials believe that until the steps are taken on a higher level, the consumers must stay aware.
To reduce the exposure of such chemicals in food, one must start using containers that are made of stainless steel or glass. It is also advised to avoid microwaving food in plastic to avoid the consequences.