One of the regular features of our new blog will be the PLoS Medicine daily click – our daily clicks are a ‘pick of the day’ from members of the PLoS Medicine team, and we hope the pages and articles we choose to highlight will inform, update and provide food for thought on all matters relating to medicine and health.
Today I spotted that the editors of the Environmental Health Perspectives journal have chosen their ‘paper of the year for 2009’: the paper they picked, published in EHP, was by Swan et al. and is titled Decrease in Anogenital Distance among Male Infants with Prenatal Phthalate Exposure . This interesting study was published in 2005 and, like all their content, is freely available online. The findings described in Swan et al. (2005 ) revealed an association between the exposure of pregnant women to phthalates and adverse effects on genital development in their male children. According to an editorial in the June 2009 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives Swan et al. (2005) had ‘an impact on phthalate legislation such as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which dramatically reduced the amount of six phthalates (including DEHP and DBP) that are permissible in children’s toys’ as well as being cited by those passing legislation on phthalates in numerous US states.
The intersection between the environment and health is the main focus of EHP and an area that PLoS Medicine expects to focus on in the future, as detailed in a recent editorial on our new scope, since factors that affect human health are inextricably interlinked with the environment.