What you need to know about Phthalates to protect your family
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I knew nothing about the problems with our every household cleaning and personal care products. In a way, life was simpler then-I didn't have to check labels, or learn about ingredients, or search for safe products that didn't leave me in the poor house. At the same time, I had no idea what harm I was doing to my body by using these things all the time.
So, I've made it my mission to help explain in the simplest way possible just what some of these toxic ingredients are, and what we can do about them.
Today, lets take a look at phthalates.
Who knew that the same toxins that raised the alarm about water bottles leaking contaminates a few years ago (BPA) are still in your personal body products?
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used for softening everything from formed plastic to your skin. In fact, it’s hard to name personal and home care products that don’t include them, like lotions, shampoos, cosmetics, hair sprays, soaps and perfumes. But that’s not all!
Phthalates are also in many of the cleaning products we use daily. Think about it: your facial lotion and favorite perfume include some of the same toxic ingredients as the stuff you clean your shower with! Scary!
You and your family are most likely exposed to Phthalates several times a day—from the plastic packaging your lunch is wrapped in to the air freshener you spray in the bathroom to the shampoo you wash your children’s hair with. Phthalate exposure occurs by absorption through the skin, inhalation and ingestion through contaminated food and beverages.
Phthalates have been proven to be hormone disruptors since they act like estrogen in the body. Men with higher Phthalate levels in their bloodstream have decreased and damaged sperm. In animal studies it causes birth defects, premature births, as well as the development of behavioral problems.
Scientific studies show that these toxins affect brain development in the womb. One such study in 2011 found that pregnant women with significant levels of Phthalates in their urine were more likely to have daughters who developed behavioral issues such as anxiety, depression and hyperactivity as early as age 3!
And that’s not all. Phthalates have been found to cause liver cancer and are suspected of causing breast cancer due to the way they mimic estrogen, which is known to cause breast cancer and to increase the speed at which it grows.
BPA, which is the Phthalate that has been the most studied, has been linked to infertility, ADHD, heart disease and asthma, as well as the diseases mentioned already. In fact, scientists claim that these toxins are so powerful, even in minute doses, that they can reprogram a person’s genes, triggering diseases in future generations!