"Half of newborns in a Brooklyn-based study were exposed in the womb to triclosan, a germ-killing chemical widely used in consumer products, researchers reported today at an annual meeting of chemists.
“Our study suggests that expectant mothers may be highly exposed to these compounds, which have endocrine-disrupting capabilities,” said study coauthor Laura Geer, an environmental health scientist at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center in New York.
In addition to triclosan, about one-quarter of the newborns were exposed to traces of triclocarban, another germ-killing chemical in some bar soaps.
The researchers also reported today that pregnant women with higher levels of butylparaben, a cosmetics germ-killing preservative, gave birth to shorter babies than women with lower levels. It’s not clear what health effects, if any, the shorter lengths would have on a child, Geer said. Those findings are preliminary and have not yet been published, so Geer declined to reveal details on the length differences."