Phthalates will come up in my posts from time to time. For a little refresher, they are plasticizers added to products to help scents stick to the skin and to plastic to make it pliable. They are known hormone disruptors and the class contains many individual chemicals. Some of these chemicals have been singled out and tested, but there are so many that have not. In the past few years, there have been studies linking phthalates to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues. They create a lot of havoc.
One thing to consider is that if a company removes one harmful phthalate we hope that it isn’t just replaced with another that is equally harmful. Similar to replacing BPA with BPS, which has since shown to be no safer than BPA, oops.
So, how do we avoid phthalates? Honestly, it’s tricky as it is found in everything. For instance, if something passes through plastic tubes in manufacturing then it is likely contaminated with phthalates. Try to avoid fragrance, avoid plastic in the home (use glass/stainless steel), stick with companies you trust. The bottom line is, arm yourself with knowledge and then do the best you can. Also, by supporting companies that are fighting for safer products and more health protective regulations, change will happen on a bigger level, someday.