The American Chemistry Council Finds Faults In Baby Care Products Study

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The Phthalate Esters Panel of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) feels that the article on baby care products adds little to the debate over phthalate safety, fails to provide meaningful or useful data, and makes recommendations that are not supported by existing science.

amount of infant care products used and not to apply lotions or powders unless indicated for a medical reason

The Phthalate Esters Panel of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) has issued the following statement:

In an article that will be published next month in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Sheela Sathyanarayana, MD, MPH - together with six other researchers - outlines the findings of a study that seeks to explore the sources of infant phthalate exposure through the use of baby care products such as lotions, powders, shampoos and creams.

The study's recommendation to limit the "amount of infant care products used and not to apply lotions or powders unless indicated for a medical reason" is an extreme and unnecessary measure that is not supported by existing science and not justified by the data presented in the article.

"All parents want to feel confident that they are keeping their children safe and healthy," stated Marian Stanley, Phthalates Esters Panel Manager at the ACC. "We believe that there is potential value in the study of metabolized phthalates. But we take great exception to any effort to draw unfounded conclusions that suggest human health risks are associated with the mere presence of very low levels of metabolized phthalates in urine. In fifty or more years of use, no reliable evidence has ever been found that phthalates, either alone or in combination, causes negative health effects in humans," continued Stanley.

This report produces data that are decidedly inconclusive. The value of the study is further limited in that it provides no information on the source of the exposure. It contains unusually wide ranges of values for the phthalates metabolites listed which only demonstrates that the values recorded are wildly variable and are inconclusive.

Stanley continues, "We are also concerned that the report mixes items such as toys and pacifiers with baby care products such as talcum powder and infant shampoo. It is disturbing that the authors of the study do not appear to know that pacifiers made in the United States are made of latex or silicone and are not made with phthalates. Due to the many shortcomings of this particular study, we do not believe that it adds value to the existing body of research on phthalate esters and we do not believe that should provide the basis for any specific recommendations or actions on the part of consumers or manufactures."

The Phthalate Esters Panel will provide a more in depth analysis and assessment of this study and post it our web site when available. http://www.phthalates.org

About the American Chemistry Council (ACC)

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $635 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

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Tiffany Harrington
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