Recently, attention to the prevalence of reproductive and developmental problems in the United States has increased. Mounting evidence demonstrates that environmental chemical exposures may play an important role in these problems. Male reproductive problems, which include undescended testicles and hypospadias, doubled from 1970 to 1993. These reproductive problems increase the risk for testicular cancer (Barret, 2005). The incidence of testicular cancer continues to increase at a rate of 2% to 4% annually in industrialized nations. In the United States, rates have stabilized after 20 years of increasing (Environmental Working Group [EWG], 2000). Recent reports highlight the presence of low-level concentrations of potential carcinogens, plasticizers called phthalates, in personal care products and cosmetics (Barret, 2005). Phthalates are known reproductive and developmental toxicants in animal studies. Swan et al. (2005) recently found a relationship between phthalates and the feminization of U.S. male infants. Colon, Caro, Bourdony, and Rosario (2000) link endocrine-disrupting chemicals like phthalates to the early onset of puberty. These investigators identified Puerto Rican girls with both premature breast development and higher levels of phthalates in their blood.
Humans; Neonates; Chemical-properties; Chemical-reactions; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Hazards; Health-hazards; Toxins; Toxic-materials; Toxic-effects; Reproduction; Reproductive-effects; Reproductive-hazards; Reproductive-system; Reproductive-system-disorders; Cancer; Phthalates; Plastics; Carcinogens