What are phthalates? They are binders and plasticizers found in everyday items, including beauty products. How safe are they? That’s a question that recent research has come to show there is a definite concern for negative health impacts. Phthalate chemicals are literally everywhere. These include household cleaners, food packaging, fragrances, cosmetics and personal care products. The CDC started by researching back in 2003 and it led to the passing of the Consumer Product Safety Bill, which passed in 2008. This particular bill banned the use of some phthalates in children’s products, passed an interim ban on others and required the Product Safety Commission to take a closer look into the effects these chemicals may have to our health. All of these things are positive for Americans, but we have a long way to go to protect ourselves from unwanted chemical and toxin exposure.
As scientists and the government start to work together to see the negative health impacts exposure to phthalates may have, recent research has found a link 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. That in itself is pretty alarming.
So, please be aware when purchasing items to use in your home and for your loved ones that phthalates includes a massive class of chemicals and not all of them have been studied. Here is a list of some of the known phthalates with associated with negative health impacts:
butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP)
dibutyl phthalate (DnBP)
di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)
diethyl phthalate (DEP)
di-butyl phthalate (DBP)
benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)
diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP)
di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP)
dipentyl phthalate (DPP)
di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP)
di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP)
di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP).
It is easy to avoid these chemicals if you take the time and read the labels of your cosmetics, household cleaners, food containers and more. I would add that if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or have children, proceed with caution as babies, kids, and pregnant individuals have been found to be more vulnerable to phthalate exposure. Regulation of these chemicals is a slow process. The California Prop 65 which forces companies to state “this product (or building) contains substances known by the state of California to cause cancer.” While this warning is vague, it makes consumers think twice before buying that shampoo or baby products.
The real issue here is the push to get the regulation of phthalates pushed through our government so our exposure is naturally decreased. In the meantime, try substituting your commercial cleaning products and your beauty and cosmetic items with DIY products so you know exactly you are putting on your body and inhaling in your home.
In previous blogs, I suggested recipes for Body Butter, Face Serum and Moisturizing Oil. I also recommend looking into Thrive Market and Beautycounter. For switching up your cleaning products, check out Young Living Essential Oils as their Thieves product line offers a great way to clean your homes without adding toxins as well as other personal care items.
Cheers to Good Health!