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EPA Ready to O-K "Seconds" of Chemical Proven to Cause Birth Defects

January 15, 2007

The Environmental Protection Agency is set to change what it deems "safe levels" of "DBP" (dibutyl phthalate), by increasing the allowable exposure. It's a common chemical found in lotions, shampoo, nail polish, perfume, children's toys and even printing ink that comes into contact with food. Studies showing a link between DBP and birth defects in baby boys inspired the European Union to ban DBP in cosmetics and toys.

Scientist Sarah Janssen with the Natural Resources Defense Council says the EPA move flies in the face of several studies.

"We have a lot of new science, both in animals and humans, that this chemical is causing problems with male reproductive

Janssen says DBP is so widely used, it even ends up in food, and it's impossible to avoid it.

"They're also used in a number of different types of cosmetics - lotions, shampoo, make-up, fingernail polish -
unfortunately, cosmetics don't necessarily have phthalate on the label."

More information at

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NH