Studies on the health problems of children's exposure to toxic or toxic chemicals are the focus of studies on child health.
The effects of toxic chemicals in the body on metabolism, disposal, hormonal system or organ development are different in children than adults. Children are more vulnerable and harmful to toxic substances entering their bodies, such as respiration, absorption through the skin, and nutrition, both in the womb and in post-partum growth periods.
What is developmental disrupting toxic substance?
Substances that exhibit toxic effects on the development of an organism's offspring are called developmental toxicants or toxic substances that disrupt child development. Some infectious agents or diseases such as radiation and diabetes may also have developmental disrupting effects, but the majority of developmental disrupting agents are toxic chemicals that are released from industrial activities and transmitted to humans through air, water and food.
Exposure to toxic chemicals through direct contact, respiration or nutrition is called exposure. Evidence of exposure is obtained by detecting the residue of the chemical in human blood, urine, breast milk, the umbilical cord of the newborn baby or the first poo.
We know a lot about the possible sources of these chemicals; however, our knowledge of the toxic effects on children in the womb and early childhood, where rapid growth is taking place, is quite new. However, in various publications on this subject, the negative effects of toxic chemicals disrupting the development of the child's age increases with increasing age and the most sensitive part of the baby's mother is said to constitute. It is estimated that 10% of the problems associated with low birth weight, organ damage and birth anomalies observed in infants are due to toxic chemicals that impair development.
It has been known for many years that toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, dioxins, organic chlorinated and phosphorus pesticides have infectious effects on infants and children. The number of disrupting chemicals is increasing from year to year, and many of them are not known except for being subject to academic research. In this article, I will talk about phthalates, which are one of the most important toxic chemicals which have negative effects on child development and have become increasingly important in recent years.
Phthalates are chemicals added to reduce the hardness, increase flexibility or transparency of plastic-based products.
Baby and child care products such as shampoos, lotions, toys, cosmetics, plastic-based food packaging materials, stationery and various industrial-based plastic products include phthalates.
Phthalates are thought to cause health problems such as reproductive and nervous system development problems, hormonal system disorders, allergies and asthma in children. Some have previously been banned because of suspected carcinogens or adverse effects on child health.
In 2005, the use of DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate), BBP (Benzylbutylphthalate) and DBP (Dibutyl phthalate) in infants and children's products and toys in the European Union and in our country was prohibited due to their reproductive health-damaging effects.
However, there are more than 20 phthalate compounds or species used in industrial production; In other words, when we say phthalates, we are talking about dozens of chemical substances that have different molecular structures but all are called phthalates.
Therefore, many phthalate compounds that replace the banned and are claimed to be safer are still used in the manufacture of various products. In recent years, however, there has been increasing suspicion that some of them also pose a health threat.
In bio-monitoring studies to determine phthalate exposure in humans, DINCH (1,2-cyclohexane dicarboxylic acid diisononyl ester); It was announced that there were residues of phthalates called DEHT (bis- (2-ethylhexyl) -terephthalate) and DEHA (bis- (2-ethylhexyl) -adipate). In another study, it was reported that DIBP (diisobutyl phthalate) and DİNP (diisononyl phthalate) increased in humans.
Who is responsible and what to pay attention to?
Since phthalates are used in the production of too many products, the control and inspection activities are distributed to different ministries. However, the Ministry of Health is responsible for controlling phthalate residues in infant and child products.
Phthalate residues that may be found in baby and children's products, toys and stationery materials are analyzed in laboratories of the Ministry of Health. The analysis details are not available to the public, so we do not know how many products are analyzed each year, which residues of phthalates are looked at and what is in the end. Baby or children's products