Chemicals found in a number of household products including plastic wrap, food containers, soap and cosmetics may cause serious health issues for children, new research finds.
The chemicals — diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) — have been considered safe and actually used as replacements for more harmful chemicals.
But according to the research, published in the current issue of the journal Hypertension, these two chemicals may cause high blood pressure and metabolic issues in children.
"Our research adds to growing concerns that environmental chemicals might be independent contributors to insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure and other metabolic disorders," study author Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a professor at NYU Langone Medical Center, said in a statement.
The researchers looked at the blood pressure and levels of DINP and DIDP in the urine of more than 1,300 children ages 8 to 19. The researchers noted thawith every 10-fold increase in the levels of the two chemicals, “the children's blood pressure was about 1 point higher, on average,” reports LiveScience. It’s a small amount, but the researchers noted it is significant for the population at large.
The researchers also conducted another study, with the findings published in May in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. This research looked at more than 350 children ages 12 to 19 and the effects of the chemicals on insulin resistance, which can be an indicator of an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. That study noted increased levels of chemicals in urine were associated with insulin resistance compared with the teens who had the lowest levels of the chemicals in their urine.
“Exactly how the two chemicals might be linked with health problems is not clear, but previous research on other phthalates has shown that these chemicals might change the expression of genes that are important for lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, which may play a role in blood pressure regulation and insulin resistance,” reports Live Science.
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