Could Common Antibacterials Be Harmful to Pregnant Women and Their Babies?

Laura Geer, [Ph.D., of the State University of New York], says the study yielded a link between women with higher levels of another ubiquitous antimicrobial, butyl paraben, which is commonly used in cosmetics, and shorter newborn lengths. The long-term consequences of this are not clear, but Geer adds that, if this finding is confirmed in larger studies, it could mean that widespread exposure to these compounds could cause a subtle but large-scale shift in birth sizes.

Luckily, some state policymakers and companies have already taken steps to remove triclosan from products. Minnesota will prohibit its use in certain products starting in January 2016. And companies like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble are taking out the antimicrobial in some of their products. At the federal level, the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency are conducting additional research on these compounds, too.

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Image via Shutterstock.

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