Household Chemical Linked To Childhood Eczema

Butyl-benzyl-phthalate (BBP) is common in everything from vinyl flooring to fake leather.

Eczema

Photo: Care_SMC (Flickr)

A child with eczema on his arm and hand.

A new study shows a link between a common household chemical and childhood eczema.

The study says babies who are born to women who have been exposed to Butyl-benzyl-phthalate (BBP), which is common in everything from vinyl flooring to fake leather, are more likely to develop childhood eczema.

Dr. Jeffrey Travers, Professor of Toxicology and Dermatology at the IU School of Medicine, says it‘s been known for many years that these compounds could exacerbate asthma and also be involved in various types of rashes including eczema and other allergies.

“It‘s estimated now that about one in five children will be developing atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema,” he says. “The incidents of allergic diseases is increasing tremendously in this country.”

Travers says the chemical compound could play a role in the development of childhood eczema but because cases of eczema are rapidly growing, there could be many other factors as well, such as a malfunctioning immune system.

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