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Rutgers Health participated in a federal study that found certain organophosphate esters were linked to increased risk of early birth


Pregnant women exposed to specific classes of flame-retardant chemicals may face an increased risk of preterm birth, especially for baby girls, or higher birth weights, according to a Rutgers Health researcher.

Emily Barrett, professor and vice chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health and a member of the Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, took part in a study that was published in Environmental Health Perspectives and funded by the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program at the National Institutes of Health.

Manufacturers commonly use organophosphate esters (OPEs) in products such as furniture, baby items, electronics, clothes and building materials to prevent fires and make plastics more flexible. People can come into contact with OPEs in various ways, including swallowing or breathing indoor dust or absorbing it through the skin.

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(Source: Rutgers Today – February 29, 2024)

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