Phthalates, which are pronounced “thalates” are widespread in many soft plastic products such as toys, hairspray, lubricants, fragrance and perfumes to name a few. You can even find them in your medications. The worst thing, is that phthalates will probably not even be listened on the list of ingredients. As the are one of my parts included in the word “fragrance”. In addition, toys do not have ingredient lists, so no one knows which toys contain phthalates.
Unfortunately, these “invisible” phthalates are in hundreds, if not thousands of products that we use on a daily basis. Why are these phthalates so bad for us? Well, studies have shown that men’s reproductive system is quite sensitive to phthalates, particularly when they are exposed in the womb. Some phthalates produce extreme male genital defects and others have noted reductions in semen production.
All of these conditions are from women being exposed to phthalates while pregnant. Phthalates exposure has been linked to breast cancer and testicular cancer in men and has also been linked to neurological and behavioral difficulties. Some other studies have linked phthalates to obesity and a diabetic risk. As of 2009, California has banned the use of phthalates in childrens’ toys and childcare articles. It is illegal to sell, manufacture, or distribute these items.
When choosing to purchase plastics, choose plastics with recycling codes of 1, 2, and/or 5. When purchasing cosmetic-type items, since phthalates won’t be on an ingredient list, select a brand that prides itself on using phthalates-free ingredients. These companies typically add this labeling to their packages.
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