Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prenatal exposure to common household chemical, phthalate, increases risk for childhood eczema

Date:
June 26, 2012
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
Prenatal exposure to a ubiquitous household chemical called butylbenzyl phthalate can increase a child's risk for developing eczema, according to new research.

Prenatal exposure to a ubiquitous household chemical called butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) can increase a child's risk for developing eczema, according to research conducted at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health.

Widely used in vinyl flooring, artificial leather and other materials, BBzB can be slowly released into air in homes.

Details are published in the advance online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives, a journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Eczema, which is characterized by dry, itchy red skin on the face, scalp, or extremities, is common in early childhood. "While hereditary factors, allergens, and exposure to tobacco smoke are known to contribute to the condition, our study is the first to show that prenatal exposure to BBzB is a risk factor," says Allan C. Just, PhD, first author on the Mailman School study and currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The study looked at 407 nonsmoking African-American and Dominican women and their children in New York City. Exposure to BBzB was measured through a urine test during the third trimester of pregnancy. Following birth, the mothers were asked if their child had been diagnosed with eczema. The result: onset of eczema by age 2 was 52 percent more likely in children whose mothers had been exposed to higher concentrations of BBzP, compared with those whose mothers had been exposed to lower concentrations. All but one of the women in the study showed some level of exposure to the chemical.

How BBzP might induce eczema remains murky. To explore that question, the researchers looked at allergies as a possible mechanism. Children were tested for three common indoor allergens: cockroaches, dust mites, and mice, as well as for total IgE, a biomarker for an immune response to all allergens. But they found no evidence of a link between BBzP exposure and allergy.

"We know allergies are a factor with some childhood eczema, but our data suggest that is not the case when BBzP is involved," says senior author Rachel Miller, MD, Director of the Allergy and Immunology fellowship program and Associate Professor of Medicine (in Pediatrics) and Environmental Health Sciences, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center; and a Co-Deputy Director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health. "However, these are important findings, given that eczema is a common and uncomfortable disease of early childhood."

The researchers also found that while African-American mothers in the study were twice as likely as their Dominican-American counterparts to report that their child had been diagnosed with eczema, both groups had a similar association between BBzP exposure and the disease.

Previous research by study co-author Robin M. Whyatt, DrPH, Professor of Clinical Environmental Health Sciences and Co-Deputy Director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, found that exposure to BBzP and other phthalates was shown to delay motor skill development in young children and to increase risk for behavioral problems. Phthalates are also known to disrupt the body's endocrine system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Allan C. Just, Robin M. Whyatt, Matthew S. Perzanowski, Antonia M. Calafat, Frederica P. Perera, Inge F. Goldstein, Qixuan Chen, Andrew G. Rundle, Rachel L. Miller. Prenatal Exposure to Butylbenzyl Phthalate and Early Eczema in an Urban Cohort. Environmental Health Perspectives, 26 Jun 2012 DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1104544

Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Prenatal exposure to common household chemical, phthalate, increases risk for childhood eczema." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626065109.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2012, June 26). Prenatal exposure to common household chemical, phthalate, increases risk for childhood eczema. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626065109.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Prenatal exposure to common household chemical, phthalate, increases risk for childhood eczema." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626065109.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins