Dutch researchers looking at prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) found that children’s levels of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) were linked to mothers’ dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination. Higher levels were found in newborn girls, but there was no difference in boys.

The researchers measured exposure through maternal breast milk or placenta cord blood. Babies’ T4 levels were measured in blood samples. However, no association was found with perfluorooctanyl sulphonate (PFOS), PCB-153, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and three phthalate metabolites of DEHP.

The study was published in the journal Environmental Health. The scientists, from Amsterdam’s VU university, say their results should be interpreted with caution due to the relatively small size of the study population.

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