Baby teethers are a novel source of infant exposure to endocrine disruptors
A new study has found that endocrine disrupting chemicals—which can interfere with the actions of hormones in the body—are present in some plastic teethers for babies, and the chemicals can leach out of the products.
Investigators detected significant endocrine activity in 2 of 10 plastic teethers. One teether contained methyl-, ethyl- and propylparaben, while the second contained at least 6 different endocrine disrupting compounds that remain so far unidentified.
"The good news is that most of teethers we investigated did not contain endocrine disruptors. However, the presence of parabens in one product is peculiar because, normally, these are not used in plastic toys," said Dr. Martin Wagner, senior author of the Journal of Applied Toxicology study. "Our study demonstrates that plastic toys are a source of chemical exposure for babies and infants that manufacturers, regulators and scientists need to address more thoroughly," he adds.