Phthalates – 10 Hidden Places They’re Lurking and Why You Should Care

What are Phthalates

So, what the heck’s a Phthalate (THAL-ate)?

  • Chemical made from petroleum.
  • Used in personal care products and a large variety of plastics.
  • Used to soften plastics and make them flexible (think shampoo bottle).
  • Endocrine disrupting ()

If it’s primarily used in plastic, why is it in our personal care stuff?!

  • Cheap.
  • Improves texture.
  • Makes stuff spreadable.
  • Enhances absorption (so, when it’s in your toxic stuff, it makes it even more harmful!).

Where else does it hide?

  1. Plastic Food Containers
  2. Pesticides (and the residue on your produce)
  3. Shower Curtains (vinyl ones)
  4. Wallpaper
  5. Diaper mats/changing pads
  6. Air Freshener Plug-ins
  7. Plastic Jewelry (think kids play stuff and Mardi Gras beads)
  8. Certain plastic toys
  9. Cosmetics, Personal Care & Perfumes
  10. Diaper creams, Baby lotions, etc

So, what’s the real scoop on our health?

  • Studies (as published by the World Health Organization) found they interfere with our thyroid – a huge center for growth and development in our bodies.
  • Considered a “gender-bending” chemical – studies have linked genital deformation, decreased birth rates and even DNA damage to phthalates.
  • Also associated with Lower IQ, Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity.
  • Scary bonus?! Phthalates cross the placenta barrier and can be passed from mother to baby – YIKES!

So, what’s a guy/gal to do?!

  • Switch over to as much glass as possible for food/drinks (think Mason Jars, glass¬†baby bottles, glass water bottles, and glass food storage).
  • #ditchandswitch to all-natural personal care products ASAP (insert shameless RY plug here).
  • Go cotton in the shower & toss the vinyl shower curtain.
  • Look for #1, #2, and #5 plastics (those are phthalate-free).
  • Scent your home naturally (we’ll have a fabulous DIY post soon on home air fresheners!).
  • Buy organic food whenever possible, especially the dirty dozen (¬†from EWG).
  • Peel that wallpaper off and get to painting!

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