Chemical in toothpastes 'can leave unborn babies brain damaged'

London, Dec 1: A study has found that certain chemicals found in toothpastes and soaps can lead to brain damage in unborn babies.

Findings point out to 'triclosan', a powerful anti-bacterial commonly found in toothpastes, deodorants and handwashes to washing-up liquid, anti-bacterial chopping boards and even some toys to have deadly results.

The chemical developed nearly 50 years ago has the potential to disrupt the flow of blood to the uterus, thereby starving a baby's brain of oxygen that is essential for proper brain development.

Scientists fear that pregnant women exposed to high levels of the chemical may be putting their babies at risk. "We know it's a problem. But we just don't know how much of a problem," the Daily Mail quoted Professor Margaret James of the University of Florida as saying.

The Food and Drug Administration in the U.S has been concerned over the use of the chemical in household products and is carrying out major reviews on its safety. In a latest study, tests on sheep showed it interferes with an enzyme that allows the hormone oestrogen to circulate in the womb.

Oestrogen helps to keep open the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood to the foetus. In case of shortage, the artery narrows and oxygen supplies are depleted.

OneIndia News

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