A manmade ingredient of many plastics, cosmetics and other &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/cis/2001/08/27/13422.html ' target=_blank>consumer products may be interfering with prenatal male sexual development, new research suggests.
A study of 85 infant boys found a correlation between increased exposure to some forms of the chemical phthalate and smaller penis size and incomplete testicular descent.
It is the first time phthalate has been shown to influence the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/11/15/39576.html ' target=_blank>sexual development of human males, tells the Washington Post.
The study tested levels of four kinds of phthalates in the urine of pregnant women. Researchers later examined 134 of the baby boys 2 months to 30 months old who were born to those women.
Previous work had shown that prenatal phthalate exposure in rodents can critically affect male hormones, resulting in impaired testicular descent and smaller genital size. The Swan study is the first to look at effects in humans.