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Foetal exposure to PVC linked to obesity in kids

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 12:20 hrs

Washington, Jan 16 (IANS) Pregnant women exposed to low doses of tributyltin (TBT), a chemical used in marine hull paint and polyvinyl coated (PVC) plastic, can give birth to obese children and their children, says a US study.

After exposing pregnant mice to TBT in concentrations similar to those found in the environment, researchers saw increased body fat, liver fat and fat-specific gene expression in their "children," "grandchildren" and "great-grandchildren" -- none of which had been exposed to the chemical.

These findings suggest that early-life exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds such as TBT can have permanent effects of fat accumulation without further exposure, said Bruce Blumberg, professor of pharmaceutical sciences and developmental & cell biology at California, who led the study, reports the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Human exposure to TBT can occur through PVC plastic particles in dust and via leaching of the chemical and other related compounds from PVC pipes and containers, according to a California statement.

Significant levels of TBT have been reported in house dust -- which is particularly relevant for young children who may spend significant time on floors and carpets. Some people are exposed by ingesting seafood contaminated with TBT, which has been used in marine hull paint and is pervasive in the environment.



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