Smaller penises on boys
Some plastic products are being linked to strange reproductive effects on boys, including their penis size. A new study led by Dr. Shanna Swan of the University of Rochester says fetal exposure to phthalates—a chemical widely used to make plastics soft and pliable—has been linked to smaller penis size, incomplete descent of testicles and a decreased distance between the anus and the genitals—an area colloquially known as the “taint"—in baby boys.
The study is published in this month’s issue of Environmental Research along with five other studies linking various endocrine-disrupting chemicals used in plastics—Bisphenol A, flame retardants and phthalates—to adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals. In August, Congress banned several types of phthalates used in children’s toys and products.