TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Latest research findings from Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) show that pregnant women who often use personal care products, cosmetics, fragrances, and scents are more likely to give birth to babies who are susceptible to allergies and asthma, the NHRI said on Monday.
In order to make fragrance last longer, personal care products and cosmetics usually contain perfume fixatives, and the most widely used perfume fixative is a plasticizer called Diethyl phthalate (DEP), the NHRI reported. The more often pregnant women use retention care products or cosmetics, and the more varieties of these products they use, the more meprobamate (MEP), metabolite of DEP, is found in their urine.
NHRI researcher Wang Shu-li (王淑麗) said that many researches have proven that DEP exposure during pregnancy can cause endocrine disruption and other health issues.
Even though MEP will not accumulate in the human body, long exposure to high MEP concentration is likely to prolong the metabolic process and increase the risk for upper respiratory tract infection, asthma, and decreased pulmonary function.
Therefore, Wang suggested that pregnant women should not use more than six personal care or cosmetics products, pay attention to whether any of the products contain plasticizers, and use them less than four times a week. She also recommended drinking more water and working out more often to get DEP out of the body via urinating and sweating.