Toxic exposures in the NICU

Having had a baby in the NICU for 5 months, this article about toxic exposures in the NICU is kind of scary. It was all life-saving care, so we HAD to do it, but I’m wondering if some day we’ll discover the long-term effects of some of the chemicals involved.

Neonatal Research

I thought I’d blog about this article for two reasons.

Firstly, it points out the theoretical exposure to phthalates in patients in the NICU, which are enormous and potentially with multiple toxic effects. Exposures could possibly be as high as 160,000 times the limits of intakes that we really want for our babies, and this might lead to serious adverse effects. Those toxic effects include hepatic effects, adverse pulmonary impacts and reproductive (especially male) toxicities. Of course all those words, ‘possibly’ ‘theoretical’ ‘might’ are caveats that require investigation and more solid evidence, and also some assurance that alternatives are better. We need to be sure that alternative polymers that don’t require phthalate plasticizers are also safe, but if we can be reasonably sure it seems that it would be a good idea to make the change.

The second reason that I am writing this post is that I wanted to try out the…

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