Monday, March 05, 2007

More On Plasticizers

For those who are curious, the Wikipedia page on plasticizers is actually fairly good:
n the study by the University of Missouri in Columbia, urine samples were collected from pregnant women in four United States cities. All of the women were found to have levels of phthalate residues in their urine[citation needed]. Upon birth of the children whose mother's urine had been previously measured, the genital features and anogenital distance were measured and correlated with the residue levels in the mother's urine. In boys, the highest levels of residue were seven times more likely to have a shortened anogenital distance.[4]There was also a correlation between heightened residue levels and smaller penis sizes. The testes of boys with smaller penises were more likely to have testes that didn't descend properly into the scrotum.
Gee, I'm glad I missed out on those chemicals... ;)

Of course, researchers at the libertarian-leaning George Mason University criticized the results. (Toothlessly, I might add. A homogenous group might be a benefit in a study like this. It's called ceteris paribus. While the study isn't conclusive, there would not be that much industry damage of the offending chemicals were eliminated as they were in EU. These are not vital to our economy.)

George Mason is, incidentally, the home of many of the crackpot economic bloggers across the internet.

UPDATE: For an exchange between the critics and the Swan et al researchers, see here.

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