What is Phthalate – Troubleinthepeace

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. Phthalates are widely used in polyvinyl chloride resins to manufacture products such as plastic packaging films and sheets, inflatable toys, blood canisters, medical tubes, and especially children’s toys. So what are phthalates, are phthalates in children’s utensils harmful?

Phthalates are a group of chemicals most commonly used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. They also act as a binding agent or solvent. Phthalates are also known as plasticizers, they are found in a wide variety of products and were first introduced in the 1920s as an additive in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and some products. health care products, such as insect repellents.

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Exposure to phthalates is common, and studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US.CDC) have found that phthalates are present in the majority of the population, especially in children. and women of childbearing age.

Phthalates are found in a wide variety of cosmetics and personal care products (shampoo, perfume, nail polish, hairspray, tampons, etc.), vinyl flooring, mini curtains and wallpapers, tops rain, medical equipment and supplies (including blood storage bags and IV tubes), plastic tubes, shower curtains, plastic films and packaging for food, pharmaceuticals, lubricants and detergents.

Phthalates are thought to leach into food products through plastics found in food packaging and in manufacturing facilities; In 2013, researchers at the University of Washington reported that Phthalates were found in foods, especially in milk and spices.

Wildlife Canada scientists have discovered that Phthalates are widespread in the food chain and are found in the eggs of birds in the Canadian Arctic.


Phthalates are all around us, and adults and children are more likely to absorb them. “Children are very vulnerable,” said Sheela Sathyanarayana, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and lead author of the study looking at phthalate exposure through baby care products. when exposed to phthalates due to hand-to-mouth behaviorplaying on the floor while the nervous and reproductive systems are going strong.”

Here’s how we’re all exposed to Phthalates:

Swallow. When children suck or chew objects that contain plasticizers (such as pacifiers, squeeze toys), or children grasp these toys and then suck their fingers, chemicals can enter the child’s body. Because children suck and put objects in their mouths often, they are especially susceptible to ingesting phthalates. Trying to keep your baby from putting objects in her mouth is not a good solution, so it’s one of the ways babies learn about their world, and it’s developmentally important. Instead, parents can keep potentially harmful objects out of their baby’s reach and ensure that toys and other objects put in their mouths are completely safe. Older children also ingest Phthalates when they play with things that contain phthalates and then put their hands in their mouths. Polymer clay is an example. These clays are often sold to children for use and are made primarily of PVC. We also ingest Phthalates when we eat food contaminated through certain food packaging or when we drink beverages from plastic bottles that leach chemicals into the food or liquid. Absorption. Phthalates are found in many perfumed products and cosmetics, and they help stabilize fragrances, increase spreadability, and enhance absorption. So you’ll find Phthalates in deodorants, nail polish (to help prevent chapping), hairspray (to help harden hair), perfumes, lotions, creams, and powders (including lotions). , cream and baby powder). The chemicals from these products can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. In 2002, a coalition of public health and environmental groups tested 72 branded, over-the-counter cosmetics for phthalates. They found that nearly three-quarters of the products contained Phthalates. And when the CDC tested phthalate levels in people, it found the highest levels of Phthalates in women of childbearing age, presumably due to their use of cosmetics.

In a study published in the February 2008 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers at the University of Washington’s Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Rochester found that babies who were put on products by their mothers baby care Recent studies such as lotions, shampoos, and baby powders are more likely to have phthalates in their urine than children whose mothers did not use these products.

Exposure to phthalates is also a common part of hospital stay. Many medical devices, such as catheters and IV devices, are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride or vinyl) – even those used in the NICU and other child and newborn care areas . Because phthalates can degrade into devices containing stored liquids, such as blood, plasma, and intravenous fluids, the FDA in 2002 advised healthcare providers to avoid use bags, intravenous syringes, and other devices containing DEHP phthalate when treatment for premature babies and women who are pregnant with boys. Accordingly, some hospitals are now removing phthalate-containing PVC from neonatal intensive care units.


Inhale. Phthalates can be inhaled from dust or fumes from any product that contains vinyl, such as vinyl floors, vinyl seats (e.g. in cars), and some diaper changing mats. The generation of smoke by these products is called off-gassing.

Of course, phthalates are also a concern for adults. In addition, phthalates can cross the placenta, so they can be passed to the baby during pregnancy when the mother is exposed to the substance. And they can be passed through breast milk, so it’s important to learn how to limit a mother’s exposure to protect her baby. Breast milk is still the best food for babies. Phthalates are not a reason to limit breastfeeding, but they are a reason for mothers to read product labels to find out if they contain phthalates.

The effects of phthalates on humans have not been studied extensively, but they are believed to be an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) that can alter hormonal balance and potentially cause problems. reproductive health, development and other issues.

A 2008 risk assessment report found associations with reproductive and genital defects, lower sperm counts, and disrupted hormones, the US National Research Council said. chaos and infertility.

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According to two recent Harvard studies, exposure to phthalates can increase the risk of miscarriage and gestational diabetes in pregnant women.

In infants and children, phthalates have been linked to allergies, male genital malformations, early puberty, eczema, asthma, lower IQ, and ADHD. A 2010 study of New York schoolchildren linked prenatal phthalate exposure to impaired social functioning later in life. Last year, researchers in South Korea discovered, through a review of existing studies, a “significant association” between DEHP exposure and effects on neurodevelopment in children. .

Other studies have linked phthalates to other effects in adults. A Harvard-led research team concluded in a 2008 study that certain phthalate levels were associated with sperm DNA damage in men at an infertility clinic. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a 2014 risk report that exposure to certain phthalates can cause adverse effects on the thyroid, liver, kidneys and immune system. . Some phthalates such as DEHP, which are among the most widely used, are listed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). substance that can cause cancer.

Early puberty

Most exposure to phthalates comes from eating and drinking foods that have resulted in absorption of the chemical. Phthalates can also be inhaled through vapors from scented cosmetics or hygiene products that are absorbed through the skin. Because they are found in so many products, avoiding phthalates entirely can be difficult.

Minimize exposure by avoiding plastic food containers (plastics marked with a recycling code 1, 2, 4 or 5 are probably safest).

Use glass instead and never reheat food with plastic.

Check product labels, avoiding anything with phthalates as ingredients.

When you use baby care products, choose products that are phthalate-free. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot from the list of ingredients in products. Manufacturers are not required to list phthalates separately, so they may be written under the term “fragrance”.

Choose alternatives to canned foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables and those that come in glass containers.

Don’t buy vinyl products (PVC, polyvinyl chloride), especially when those products will end up in your baby’s mouth in the form of pacifiers, pacifiers, or toys. Instead, choose items made from the most natural products possible. When you shop for plastic, look for ones made of polyethylene or polypropylene rather than vinyl or PVC.

When painting or using other solvents, make sure the space is well ventilated and your child is elsewhere. Most paints contain DBP (dibutyl phthalate) to give them better spreadability. You can look for natural paints that don’t have this ingredient.

Choose bathroom curtains, raincoats, and vinyl-restricted furniture and building materials whenever possible. Chemicals released from these products send phthalates into the air and can be inhaled by your child or you.

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Clean. Phthalates can be airborne and in the dust in your home, so wet mopping can help remove this chemical.

Source: internet

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