New evidence suggests that chemicals in hairspray may be linked to an increasingly common birth defect in boys.

Paediatricians have suggested that using sprays – and also some colouring shampoos – could raise the risk of the genital condition hypospadias, shares Daily Mail.

The alert comes after a study showed that mothers who had used hair cosmetics during pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to have a boy with the condition.

One theory is that chemicals in the products disrupt male hormones and interfere with the developed of the male genitalia in the crucial first three months of the pregnancy.

‘This is the first study to demonstrate a link between maternal household exposure to these two hair cosmetics during early pregnancy and the incidence of hypospadias,’ say the researchers, whose study is published in the International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health.

‘The precautionary principle should apply to pregnant women and they should be advised to limit their use of hair cosmetic.’

Hypospadias affects about one in 150 men, often blighting relationships and causing lifelong physical and emotional trauma.

One of the main features is that the urine opening – called the meatus – emerges on the shaft or even the base of the penis, instead of at the tip.

The condition is also linked with undescended testes and fertility problems.

The team of doctors who carried out the research say that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the womb could adversely affect the development of genitalia during early pregnancy.

The study at Amiens University Hospital in France involved comparing the use of hair cosmetics, chemicals and pesticides in 250 women who had given birth to boys with and without hypospadias. No association was found between hypospadias and the use of chemicals such as paint, solvents, gasoline, ink, glue and household products, but the use of hair cosmetic was found to raise the risk by 80 per cent.

Paul Anderson, consultant urologist at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust who specialises in genito-urethral reconstructive surgery, including adults with hypospadias, said: ‘The causes of the condition are not known, but hormones are very obviously involved, and the theory suggested in this new research is very plausible.

‘At a very early stage in the pregnancy, the urethra is flat but at a critical point in development, it becomes a tube.

‘If the hormonal mix in the womb is not right, that development may not happen or may be abnormal.’

Are you concerned about the chemicals you use during pregnancy?

Share your comments below.

Image via Getty Images 

  • avoid these things and try to go more organic and natural while pregnant


  • You really have to be so careful with everything while pregnant. Things you once used regularly now can’t be used. Wow


  • I also avoided chemicals during pregnancy.


  • I avoided all nasty chemicals during pregnancy and still show due care about chemicals in products.


  • I had no idea this was an issue, even though I’m not a hairspray user. I was aware that I couldn’t colour my hair though. I do think we’re better informed and more educated now than when I was pregnant 16 years ago.


  • Very interesting. Ive never heard of this. I guess as time goes buy we are using and consuming more and more chemicals in our daily lives :(


  • isn’t it lucky all hair dressers give up work when they fall pregnant


  • This is a very interesting study. I never used many chemicals while pregnant but that was because everything made me feel sick.


  • Yes I’m concerned about the use of chemicals, not only but certainly during pregnancy ! Anything what you put on your skin or hair enters your body as your skin is one of our biggest organs. I like natural organic products on my body, the same way I like natural organic products in my body.

    • Me too, any chemicals are harmful to all, even once your baby is born avoid parfums, harsh detergents, wash new clothes a few time before putting on, avoid time in traffic, as much as possible to bring up baby as healthy as possible.


  • How very interesting I must remember and retain this . Thanks.


  • Some now use Mousse instead of hairspray so there is no “gas” escaping into the air either. The pressure pack cans have some type of gas/chemical in them so that it will spray when you push on the trigger

    • Will still be absorbed through your skin, there are many natural organic products you can use instead.


  • I am a user of hairspray and can say, thank God my son does not have any issues, if I knew this before I would never have used hairspray.


  • An interesting study we should all be aware of!


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