Toxins To Avoid: Phthalates, What Are They & Why

Having a child made me more anxious than I already was about everything especially food, plastics, household cleaners and my own cosmetics. I decided to do this series Toxins To Avoid because I was overwhelmed by the number of ingredients and products I felt I should be avoiding. First, I shared why you should avoid BPA and today I’m taking a closer look at its BFF, Phthalate.

toxins to avoid

I’m not trying to make you scared of everything. It’s impossible to avoid exposure, but I truly believe the more you know, the better you can protect yourself and your family.

What Are They

Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics soft and pliable as well as in synthetics fragrances found in cosmetics, detergents, cleaning products and even air fresheners! Women of child-bearing age have the highest levels likely due to all the cosmetics we love to wear.

Why Are They Bad

Studies have shown that like BPA, phthalatas are “plausibly” an endocrine disruptor. [more]

In adults they have been associated with a number of serious health problems including infertility, obesity, allergies, asthma, and breast cancer.

In children, they have been associated with mental, motor and behavioral issues like ADHD, reproductive health, obesity, early puberty in girls, male genitalia abnormalities in babies and low birth weight. Phthalates cross the placenta and they even can enter into breast milk. [source]

How To Avoid Them

To avoid them, first look for products labeled phthalate free including make up, detergent, perfume, lotions and creams, scented products and toys! Companies don’t have to list it but it may be hidden under the guise of fragrance so avoid products with fragrance listed too just in case. Stop buying vinyl products, which are softened with phthalates.

Six kinds of Phthalates are banned from being used to make certain children’s products including toys.

Choose personal care products, detergents, and cleansers without phthalates or the word “fragrance” on the label.

Again, manufacturers are not required to list phthalates on labels; they may be included under “fragrance.” Of course, not all products that contain “fragrance” contain phthalates, but there’s no way for you to tell simply by reading the label.

Also check the bottom of plastic bottles and choose those labeled #1, 2, 4, or 5, which are generally considered safer. Plastics labeled #3 may leach phthalates. (Number 7 plastics may leach BPA and #6 may leach styrene. Neither of those is desirable, either.) [source]

Don’t microwave food in plastics.

I know that’s alot and it’s going to be hard to totally avoid them, but do the best you can. Also – it may be pronounced THAY-LAITS but in the video I say FAY-LAITS. Po-tay-toe, Po-tah-toe, right? 🙂

Additional sources can be found in the description of my YouTube video.

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