Janella’s Chemical Free Week: PHTHALATES

PHTHALATES are chemicals commonly added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity.

Phthalate chemicals appear in PVC plastic, toys, nail polish, plastic wrap and fake fragrances.

These chemicals are linked to early puberty in girls and other reproductive problems. Early puberty goes on to raise a women’s risk of breast cancer later on in life.

A 2003 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that environmental levels of phthalates are associated with altered DNA integrity in human sperm. This is among it’s many other detrimental health effects.

Phthalates are widely used in the manufacture of a wide range of cosmetics and packaged food. And guess where they end up – in us and the environment of course.

Foods like milk, butter and meats are commonly packaged or stored in plastics containing this dangerous toxin – so diet seems to be the place where we’re being the most exposed to this horrible toxin.

These toxins are airborne, which means we can absorbed them via the air, and our skin too – not just via our food. Yup. Bad! (Think your computer, cushions, and your couch – also nail polish, medication, plastic bottles… See below for a longer list)

‘Researchers agree that something had to be done about this dangerous chemical toxin. In 2010, the market was still dominated by high-phthalate plasticizers; however, due to current legal provisions and growing environmental awareness and perceptions, producers are increasingly forced to use non-phthalate plasticizers. It’s up to us, the consumers, to search out phthalate-free products and avoid using foods and goods that contain this serious toxin.’ Joseph Mercola.

Our indoor environment is usually more toxic than outdoors, and higher temperatures result in higher concentrations of phthalates in the air. (See my posts on indoor plants and air ionisers for way to clean up your home.)

Where Are Phthalates? (Where aren’t they, more to the point.)

– children’s toys, paint, printing inks and coatings, clay, pharmaceuticals, food products, and textiles.

– perfumes, eye shadow, moisturizer, deodorant, nail polish, liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner and hair spray.

– detergents, shower curtains, vinyl upholstery, carpeting, wire coatings, adhesives, floor tiles, food containers and wrappers.

– pharmaceutical pills and nutritional supplements; they’re also in gelling agents, film formers, stabilizers, dispersants, lubricants, binders, emulsifying agents and suspending agents. Adhesives and glues, agricultural adjuvants, building materials, personal-care products, modern electronics, and medical applications such as catheters and blood transfusion devices also contain phthalates. Even most sunscreen is toxic, containing phthalates and more.

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