Hairspray Linked to Birth Defect in Baby Boys
Another reason to be glad that the days of beehives and Farrah Fawcett flips are over, and women don’t use anywhere near the amount of hairspray we used to.
Women pregnant with a son who used or were exposed to hairspray during the first three months of pregnancy are two to three times likely to have a baby with hypospadias. Hypospadias is a birth defect where the urinary opening in the penis of a baby boy is malformed, and requires corrective surgery. Most milder cases can be completely repaired although severe cases can cause lifelong problems with urinating, sexual relations and fertility.
Hypospadias affects around 1 in 250 baby boys in the US, and the cause is usually unknown. With the results of this study, scientists think that chemicals in hairspray, namely phthalates, a chemical found in many beauty products that has been linked to genital abnormalities in baby boys and girls. Phthalates in hairspray may be more damaging than phthalates on other products because it’s very easy to inhale hairspray, where the phthalates can be absorbed internally.
It’s scary what seemingly innocent products can affect babies. At least we can avoid hairspray quite easily. So if you are pregnant, stay out of the restroom when your colleague with the updo goes in, and perhaps consider changing your hairstyle for something a little less high-maintenance if you are use hairspray on yourself.
Consider it part of the lifestyle transition to when your baby is born. Most new moms don’t have time to maintain anything more elaborate than a ponytail with a newborn!