Chemical compounds from personal care products are detected in samples of umbilical cord

22 May 2023

Ultraviolet filters and parabens are transferred between the mother and the baby through the umbilical cord / Vidal Balielo Jr. for Pexels

For the first time, the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC) detects 11 new chemical compounds in the blood of umbilical cords of 69 newborn babies from Barcelona. Among them, there are ultraviolet filters (UV) used in sun creams and parabens widely used in cosmetics, both possible causes of adverse effects in the early stages of fetal and infant development. The results show the transfer of these compounds between the mother and the fetus through the placental barrier.

“In the 17% of the umbilical cord samples that we analysed, we detected benzophenone-3 (oxybenzone), the most widely used UV filter in the world for the sun protection, and which is currently forbidden in some countries”, explains Dr. Sílvia Díaz-Cruz, IDAEA-CSIC researcher and main author of the study. This endocrine disruptor may affect reproduction and cause an increased risk of endometriosis, infertility and problems during pregnancy and birth.

The authors highlight that it is necessary to monitor the adverse effects of these compounds in the long term to carry out a more appropriate regulation in relation to human health and the environment.

Adrià Sunyer-Caldú, Amelia Peiró, Marta Díaz, Lourdes Ibáñez, Rubén Gil-Solsona, Pablo Gago-Ferrero, M. Silvia Diaz-Cruz. Target analysis and suspect screening of UV filters, parabens and other chemicals used in personal care products in human cord blood: Prenatal exposure by mother-fetus transfer. Environment International, Volume 173, 2023, 107834. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2023.107834.

Nota de prensa (ESP)
Nota de premsa (CAT)

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