Study Links Chemicals Widely Found in Plastics and Processed Food to Elevated Blood Pressure in Children and Teens

Data from nearly 3,000 children shows dietary exposure to certain plastics may play a hidden role in epidemic increases in childhood hypertension

STUDY LINKS CHEMICALS WIDELY FOUND IN PLASTICS AND PROCESSED FOOD TO ELEVATED BLOOD PRESSURE IN CHILDREN AND TEENS

Data from nearly 3,000 children shows dietary exposure to certain plastics may play a hidden role in epidemic increases in childhood hypertension
 
NEW YORK, May 22, 2013. Plastic additives known as phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are odorless, colorless and just about everywhere: They turn up in flooring, plastic cups, beach balls, plastic wrap, intravenous tubing and—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—the bodies of most Americans. Once perceived as harmless, phthalates have come under increasing scrutiny. A growing collection of evidence suggests dietary exposure to phthalates (which can leach from packaging and mix with food) may cause significant metabolic and hormonal abnormalities, especially during early development. 
 
Now, new research published today in The Journal of Pediatrics suggests that certain types of phthalates could pose another risk to children: compromised heart health. Drawing on data from a nationally representative survey of nearly 3,000 children and teens, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Washington, the University of Cincinnati and Penn State University School of Medicine, have documented for the first time a connection between dietary exposure to DEHP (di-2-ethyhexylphthalate), a common class of phthalate widely used in industrial food production, and elevated systolic blood pressure, a measure of pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts.