BBC News published yet another study of phthalates this week in which stress hormones were fingered as a source of birth defects. In particular, the study focused on those ailments which obsess the concerned citizens of America, the all-too-common "cryptorchidism" (the testes fail to drop) and "hypospadias" (the urinary tract is not aligned). Who among us doesn't know TEN PEOPLE with each of these problems?!
Here's a few quotes to chew on:
"Dr Mandy Drake, from Edinburgh University's centre for cardiovascular science, said: "What the study shows is that it is not simply a case of one factor in isolation contributing to abnormalities in male development but a combination of both lifestyle and environmental factors, which together have a greater impact." [Come on, guys, you don't expect us to believe that, do you?!]
"'In most studies reproductive disorders are only seen after abnormally high levels of exposure to chemicals, which most humans are not exposed to. Our study suggests that additional exposure to stress, which is a part of everyday life, may increase the risk of these disorders and could mean that lower levels of chemicals are required to cause adverse affects.' The study looked at male fetal development in rats. It found that while exposure to the chemical compound dibutyl phthalate, found in products including glues, paints and plastics, had some effects on reproductive development, this was significantly increased with simultaneous exposure to stress hormones."
In other words, phthalates may be much less of factor than stress in causing birth defects. What might induce stress while in utero? Well, how about scare tactics by politicians, media and consumer groups? How about their never-ending daily assault on the dangers of modern life? The regular appearance of articles questioning all the basics in our life, the accusations of hidden dangers lurking everywhere. In particular, for a pregnant woman (emitting the stress hormones to the in utero baby), the worrisome impression that the trusted baby products she bought from the trusted ocmpanies she has known for so long . . . can't be trusted. That's some serious stress.
And a likely source of such stress hormones today is the CPSIA. This study then lends credence to the proposition that the greatest threat to the health of our nation is Congress! The stress induced by the confidence-sapping CPSIA is apparently causing birth defects, and now we have a study to prove it.
It's time to sue Congress for this tort, and to pass legislation outlawing these stress hormone-inducing scare tactics. While we're at it, we might as well change the CPSIA, too. For good for future babies, we have to finish the job once and for all!