Newborns Tested for Plastic Risk

"Critically ill newborns may help researchers figure out whether children are at risk from plastic additives called phthalates.

Scientists say the nation's sickest newborns are exposed to unusually high levels of phthalates -- chemicals in plastics that can mimic hormones -- because they often spend days or weeks connected to feeding tubes, breathing tubes and intravenous lines made of plastic. And the exposure comes at a critical time in human development.

One doctor conducted a follow-up study by testing patients years after they were exposed to phthalates as infants in the neonatal intensive care unit."

Jon Hamilton reports for NPR's All Things Considered, May 19, 2009.

Source: NPR, 05/20/2009