In the past weeks, two publications by Radke et al (2018) “Phthalate exposure and male reproductive outcomes: A systematic review of the human epidemiologic evidence”, and by Bornehag et al (2018) “Association of Prenatal Phthalate Exposure with Language Development in Early Childhood”, have received some media attention.
European Plasticisers considers that some points concerning these studies should be addressed and corrected.
Regarding Radke et al:
Moreover, the same RAC opinion clearly states that for epidemiological studies relevant to fertility “There is no evidence for effects of DINP on fertility in human”; and for epidemiological studies relevant to developmental effects”: “RAC noted that no clear-cut conclusions can be drawn from the epidemiological studies”. In particular, concerning human data, “among a large number of possible associations between exposure levels and reproductive endpoints, some positive associations were found which were possibly due to random error”.
As a consequence, for developmental effects, “Based on the existing epidemiological studies, no clear conclusions on possible effects of DINP exposure on male reproductive organs or other endpoints can be drawn”.
In their own review, Radke et al do not consider the above-mentioned ECHA RAC opinion based on a three-year assessment of all the available data.
Cefic European Plasticisers and the ACC High Phthalates Panel, are now drafting a letter to the Editor of Environment International, where the paper was published in July 2018, in order to address the inaccuracies and correct the conclusions accordingly.
Concerning the study by Bornehag et al (2018) “Association of Prenatal Phthalate Exposure with Language Development in Early Childhood”, the combination of the results published by Eriksson et al (2012) with the differences in European phthalate exposure levels published by Den Hond et al (2015) implies that, contrary to the claims by Bornehag et al, phthalate exposure levels of children living in Europe do not influence language or communication skill developments in children.
A letter will be sent to the Editor of JAMA Pediatrics to address the inaccuracies and flaws in the publication.