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Epigenetic effects of phthalates and BPA

This study by Singh and Shoei-Lung Li, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, reviews the evidence that BPA and phthalates can have epigenetic effects.  Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression occurring without changes in DNA sequence.

The authors state that “Epigenetics can influence the gene expression profiles of most organs and cell types. Furthermore, epigenetics is an important mechanism in the ability of environmental chemicals to influence human health and disease. Environmental chemicals such as BPA and phthalates may play some critical roles in the etiology of many human disease risks. Multiple lines of evidences from in vitro and in vivo models have established that epigenetic modifications caused by in utero exposure to environmental toxicants can induce alterations in gene expression that may persist throughout life. Thus, the environmentally induced epigenetic changes become increasingly relevant to human health and disease, and BPA and phthalates are epigenetically toxic.”