In the meantime, a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives also suggested the risks. Researchers measured the levels of phthalates in the urine of pregnant women. Among women with higher levels of certain phthalates (those commonly found in fragrances, shampoos, cosmetics and nail polishes), their children were more likely to display disruptive behavior.
As quoted in the Times story, “there are diseases that are increasing in the population that we have no known cause for,” said Alan M. Goldberg, a professor of toxicology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. “Breast cancer, prostate cancer, autism are three examples. The potential is for these diseases to be on the rise because of chemicals in the environment.”
For now nobody has a clear answer about the cause of autism, but until more is known I recommend that we rely on the precautionary principle and do our best to avoid phthalates and other toxins that find their way into our lives through plastics and personal care products. At the very worst, it can’t hurt–at best, declining numbers in cancer and autism. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have personal experience with someone with autism? Please share.