Toxic exposures in the NICU

I thought I’d blog about this article for two reasons.

Firstly, it points out the theoretical exposure to phthalates in patients in the NICU, which are enormous and potentially with multiple toxic effects. Exposures could possibly be as high as 160,000 times the limits of intakes that we really want for our babies, and this might lead to serious adverse effects. Those toxic effects include hepatic effects, adverse pulmonary impacts and reproductive (especially male) toxicities. Of course all those words, ‘possibly’ ‘theoretical’ ‘might’ are caveats that require investigation and more solid evidence, and also some assurance that alternatives are better. We need to be sure that alternative polymers that don’t require phthalate plasticizers are also safe, but if we can be reasonably sure it seems that it would be a good idea to make the change.

The second reason that I am writing this post is that I wanted to try out the new feature of the Nature group journals. I can now include a link so that anyone who follows it will be able to read the full text article if they wish. So give it a try, and, if it works, then, even if your institution does not have access to the Journal of Perinatology, or if you read from home, then you should be able to see the whole article. You won’t be able to download or print it, but having permanent access to the articles on-line will be helpful for many.

Here is the link:




About Keith Barrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
This entry was posted in Neonatal Research. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Toxic exposures in the NICU

  1. ericruthford says:

    Reblogged this on They don't cry and commented:
    Having had a baby in the NICU for 5 months, this article about toxic exposures in the NICU is kind of scary. It was all life-saving care, so we HAD to do it, but I’m wondering if some day we’ll discover the long-term effects of some of the chemicals involved.

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