Phthalates, which are used as plasticizers in plastics, can significantly increase the risk of allergies in children. Researchers have now been able to show that. For children, there is a greater risk of developing allergic asthma if the mother was particularly exposed to phthalates during pregnancy and lactation.
Phthalates can enter our body through the skin, food or air. It is known that phthalates influence the hormone system and can thus have undesirable effects on metabolism or fertility. Now the current study results show that phthalates can also interfere with the immune system and significantly increase the risk of allergies.
At the start of the study, the research team examined the urine of pregnant women from the LINA mother-child cohort study (lifestyle and environmental factors and their influence on the risk of newborn allergies) and searched for metabolites (metabolites) of phthalates. The level of the concentrations found was related to the occurrence of allergic asthma in the children. There was a clear correlation between increased concentrations of the metabolite of butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) in the urine of the mother and the occurrence of allergic asthma in the children.
The researchers, in collaboration with colleagues from the Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig, were able to confirm these results from the mother-child cohort using the mouse model. Mice were exposed to phthalate during pregnancy and lactation, which led to comparable urine concentrations of the BBP metabolite, as were also observed in highly stressed mothers of the LINA cohort. The offspring showed a clear tendency to allergic asthma, whereby even the grandchildren generation was still affected. In contrast, there were no increased allergy symptoms in the adult mice.
The time seems to be decisive: If the organism is exposed to phthalates during the early development phase, this can have an impact on the risk of disease into the next but one generation. You can find the study here. (Association of German Alternative Practitioners)