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NEWS ARCHIVE
December 4, 1998

TOPIC:
Dangerous Infant Exposure to
Chemical Phthalates & Nitrosamines

On December 2, 1998 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released the results of a study of a chemical, diisononyl phthalate (DINP), contained in some children's products. The Commission staff did not recommend a ban on the products, but due to Aseveral areas of uncertainty where additional scientific research is needed, the CPSC staff requested the industry to remove phthalates from soft rattles and teethers. They did recommend disposing of certain infant pacifiers or nipples known to contain phthalates and retailers were asked to remove them from store shelves. CPSC reported that existing studies in laboratory animals indicate that DINP in high doses damages the liver, kidneys and other organs in lab animals but the cancer risk in humans remains uncertain. CPSC data showed that children under the age of one year old are most likely to mouth or chew soft plastic teethers, rattles or toys, so as a precaution, parents of young children were again advised to dispose of them.

The CPSC press release stated Apacifiers and feeding bottle nipples are made of latex or silicone and do not contain phthalates. The CPSC release did not mention that most brown rubber pacifiers and feeding bottle nipples, which are commonly used by infants under 1 year of age, contain Nitrosamines which are very potent carcinogens. They can be 5 million times more powerful than saccharin which presents grave consequences for infants with open blood brain barriers exposed to even minute parts per billion of this very potent carcinogen. Nitrosamines and nitrosamine precursors should be banned immediately and completely from all infant products that frequent the skin or contact the mouth. Ingestion of carcinogenic N-nitrosamines by infants and children. Westin JB, Arch Environ Health 1990 Nov-Dec;45(6):359-63, PMID: 2270955, UI: 91103608

Volatile N-nitrosamines are very potent carcinogens. They can be approximately 5 million times more powerful than saccharin. One of two principal methods is generally used when assaying rubber products for Nitrosamine content: (1) the German method (aqueous extraction) or (2) the U.S. method (dichloromethane extraction). When 16 types of baby-bottle nipples and children's pacifiers were tested recently, relatively high levels of nitramines, nitrosamines, and nitrosatable precursors were found. Eighty-one percent failed to meet the strict Dutch standards (based on the German method), but only 37.5% wouldhave been banned according to U.S. regulations, which ignore nitrosatable-precursor content. Up to one-third of the nitrosamines present in a rubber nipple may migrate into the milk in the bottle within a few hours. Transfer into infant formula may exceed 40%, and transfer into saliva may be even higher. Thus, a highly contaminated nipple may cause a 5-kg infant who drinks 1 l/d to ingest approximately 2 micrograms/kg body weight of nitrosamines. To this, add any exposure resulting from pacifier use or from in vivo nitrosation of precursors. Therefore, daily exposure of infants may, in the worst case, conceivably reach 4-5 micrograms/kg body weight. Entire average daily exposure of an American adult to volatile nitrosamines from major sources isestimated to be less than 0.05 micrograms/kg body weight. Infants who use products like those tested may, therefore, be exposed daily to less than or equal to 100 times more of these carcinogens than are adults.

When Will They Learn?
Take Care,
Dr. David Page

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