Toronto, ON – Health Canada has announced new results of the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study, examining phthalate and Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure among pregnant Canadian women in their first trimester.
The study found phthalate metabolites, including metabolites of probable carcinogen DEHP, in over 95 per cent of the urine samples. This is very concerning because some phthalates have been linked to birth defects and risk of spontaneous pregnancy loss. The study also found that average BPA concentration in urine is comparable to, but slightly lower than, the general population results published in the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS).
We’re happy that this important research has been conducted, and we congratulate the researchers, the MIREC Study group, and all participating institutions. Overall, more research needs to be done to determine how chemicals affect our health, considering that Canadians are exposed before we’re even born.
Currently, more than 84,000 chemicals are in use in North America. But very few of these chemicals have been adequately assessed for environmental and health impacts. Last year, our Pre-Polluted: A Report on Toxic Substances in the Umbilical Cord Blood of Canadian Newborns found 137 chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of three GTA infants, with 132 of those chemicals reported to cause cancer in humans or animals.
All Canadians deserve to have a healthy start in life. We hope that researchers will continue to explore this issue further. 
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