Chemicals in plastics cause high B.P in children

Beware of the chemical compounds in the daily used plastics!! According to a recent study, the chemicals present in the plastics we use everyday could cause high B.P conditions among children and infants.

The chemical compound called DEHP(di-2-ethyhexylphthalate) is present in many plastic, processed and packed foods, exposure to which causes significant metabolic and hormonal abnormalities in the early development of children. The presence of the chemical also causes severe heart damage in infants and adolescents.

Chemical present in plastics- phthalates
The chemical found in the plastics is often used as additives and is utilised in making products such as plastic cups, toys, tubes etc. This chemical belongs to the group called as phthalates.

The research was carried out by American scientists at the New York University’s Langone Medical Centre collaboratively with some of the researchers at the University of Washington and Penn State University School of Medicine.

According to the research study, the scientists claim that the chemicals present in plastic cups, beach balls, food packaging and processed foods contain a colourless and an odourless toxic additive that causes rise in blood pressure amongst children and infants.

Almost 3,000 children and teens were kept under observation and their urine was tested for breakdown products of DEHP for analysis. The result shows that the chemical phthalates present in plastics is the cause of the high B.P conditions. The blood pressure of all the children was monitored.

The study published in the Journal of Paediatrics confirms that the exposure of DEHP(di-2-ethyhexylphthalate) commonly used in food production, packaging and daily use plastics is the cause for the elevated systolic blood pressure.

Implications by Dr. Leonard’s Trasande:
According to the Dr. Leonardo Trasande, associate professor of paediatrics, environmental medicine and population health at NYU Langone Medical Centre, “phthalate can inhibit the function of cardiac cells and cause oxidative stress that compromises the health of arteries but no one has explored the relationship between phthalate exposure and heart health in children.

“We wanted to examine the link between phthalates and childhood blood pressure, in particular given the increase in elevated blood pressure in children and the increasing evidence implicating exposure to environmental chemicals in early development of disease.”

The urine samples of the children was tested and it was found that with every three fold increase in the phthalates detected in the sample, a small rise was noted in the blood pressure conditions per child.

According to Dr. Trasande, a small rise in the B.P conditions can have significant wider implications in the research. He added, ” the increment may seem very modest at an individual level, but on a population level such shifts in blood pressure can increase the number of children with elevated blood pressure substantially.”

A rise in systolic blood pressure, a measure of pressure in the arteries seen when the heart beats also is caused by the exposure of phthalates present in the daily use plastics.

He was also reported saying that, “An explosion in the number of obese people around the world is being blamed on a widespread threat to cardiac health and doctors are seeing an increase in the number of young people suffering from the condition.”

Dr Tresande not only blame the bad diets but also points out that environmental factors may be the main cause of the problem.

He stated, “Obesity is driving the trend but our findings suggest that environmental factors may also be a part of the problem.’This is important because phthalate exposure can be controlled through regulatory and behavioural interventions.

“Our study underscores the need for policy initiatives that limit exposure to
disruptive environmental chemicals, in combination with dietary and behavioural interventions geared toward protecting cardiovascular health.”