By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Young boys whose mothers were exposed to chemicals known as phthalates while pregnant may face an increased risk for developing behaviors associated with autism, a new study warns.

Phthalates are chemicals found in many household products, including cosmetics and plastics.

The study didn't identify a heightened risk for autism per se among boys, but rather a "small" increase in the chance for developing certain autism-related traits by age 3 or 4. These include social impairment, repetitive behaviors and restricted interests, said study lead author Youssef Oulhote. This elevated risk was not seen in girls.

But it appears that folic acid supplements while pregnant offer protection against this risk, said Oulhote, an assistant professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

More in category

Doctor With COVID-19 Recovering After Treatment,
April 04, 2020Medscape
Doctor With COVID-19 Recovering After Treatment, "Lot of Luck"
What’s the Best Material for a Mask?
April 05, 2020The NY Times
What’s the Best Material for a Mask?
COVID-19 Daily: More Will Die, First Antibody Test Authorized
April 03, 2020Medscape
COVID-19 Daily: More Will Die, First Antibody Test Authorized
Unsure How To Thrive While Social Distancing? Your Horoscope Has Clues
April 04, 2020mindbodygreen
Unsure How To Thrive While Social Distancing? Your Horoscope Has Clues
Do You Have The Sunscreen Gene? Study Finds Natural SPF In The Skin
April 03, 2020mindbodygreen
Do You Have The Sunscreen Gene? Study Finds Natural SPF In The Skin
What This Doctor Wants You To Know About Autoimmune Disease & COVID-19
April 04, 2020mindbodygreen
What This Doctor Wants You To Know About Autoimmune Disease & COVID-19
April 03, 2020WebMD
Scammers Taking Advantage of N95 Mask Shoratge
COVID-19 Diary Day 1: Something Wicked This Way Comes
April 02, 2020Medscape
COVID-19 Diary Day 1: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Hard Truths From Infectious Disease Specialists
April 03, 2020Medscape
Hard Truths From Infectious Disease Specialists
How This Entrepreneur Is Finding Purpose & Impact From Home
April 03, 2020mindbodygreen
How This Entrepreneur Is Finding Purpose & Impact From Home
All You Need Is 20 Minutes & A Backpack For This Full-Body Workout
April 03, 2020mindbodygreen
All You Need Is 20 Minutes & A Backpack For This Full-Body Workout
82,000 Health Care Workers Volunteer for New York
April 03, 2020WebMD
82,000 Health Care Workers Volunteer for New York
COVID-19 in People With HIV: Commonly Asked Questions
April 02, 2020Medscape
COVID-19 in People With HIV: Commonly Asked Questions
The Week That Wasn't in COVID-19: Elon Musk, 'Pandemic' Scientist
April 02, 2020Medscape
The Week That Wasn't in COVID-19: Elon Musk, 'Pandemic' Scientist
Silence Over Safety? Muzzling Clinicians a Public Health Issue
April 03, 2020Medscape
Silence Over Safety? Muzzling Clinicians a Public Health Issue
Coronavirus Is Aerosolized Through Talking, Exhalation
April 03, 2020Medscape
Coronavirus Is Aerosolized Through Talking, Exhalation
Making your own face mask? Some fabrics work better than others, study finds
April 03, 2020NBC News
Making your own face mask? Some fabrics work better than others, study finds
Do I Need To Clean My Watch and Shoes After a Run?
April 03, 2020Runner's World
Do I Need To Clean My Watch and Shoes After a Run?
10,000 Steps a Day Is B.S., Experts Say
April 03, 2020Prevention
10,000 Steps a Day Is B.S., Experts Say
Mental health task force helps athletes in wake of postponed Olympics
April 03, 2020MSN
Mental health task force helps athletes in wake of postponed Olympics
What social distancing is like for parents of kids with autism
April 03, 2020MSN
What social distancing is like for parents of kids with autism