HAIRSPRAY AND HYPOSPADIAS
For the majority of people, hairspray is applied to hair to hold their hair in place for a long period of time or to provide a beautiful shine. For others, hairspray can be the cause of their son’s birth defect. The use of hairspray is not hazardous. However, the same cant be said for the amount of exposure a person has to hairspray. Recent studies have shown that pregnant women who are exposed to hairspray while working are more than two times more likely to give birth to a son who has the genital birth defect termed hypospadias.
Hypospadias is one of the most common genital birth defects among boys. This condition is where the urethra is not fully enclosed by the urethral folds. Because the urethra is not enclosed, it is then free to open elsewhere such as: the front of the scrotum, behind the scrotum, at the base or shaft of the penis, or on the underside of the penis. The ultimate cause of developing hypospadias is generally uncertain. However, most of the time is random and of no relation to inheritance. Hypospadias can result from genetics. One of the most studied causes has been on inadequate androgen effect. There are many different chemicals which interact with steroid receptors. One of these steroid receptors is termed phthalate. Mothers who have high levels of phthalates have sons who are seven times more likely to have a shortened anogenital distance. Ironically, studies have found that the possible link between hairspray and hypospadias is because of chemicals found in hairspray known as phthalates. Phthalates have been known to disrupt hormone systems throughout the body and also affect the development of the reproductive system.
Some recent studies have shown that taking folic acid supplements during the first three months of pregnangy will significantly reduce the risk of their son developing the genital birth defect hypospadias. Folic acid supplements has also been recommended by doctors to...