Phthalates and Your Health
Why avoiding plastics is essential for childhood & adult health
To maintain optimal health in today’s world, it’s essential to be aware of how plastics affect our biology. Plastic contains a number of chemicals that are similar in structure to our natural hormones, and thus they have a hormone-mimicking effect. This mimicking effect
interferes with the function of our own natural hormones, which causes endocrine-system related problems in both adults and children.
In adults, phthalate exposure has been correlated with weight gain, polycystic ovary disease, reduced testosterone levels, fertility problems, low sex drive, breast cancer, uterine fibroids, and depression. In children who are still in their growth and development stage, the effects of phthalates are even more troubling: Research has linked phthalate exposure to birth defects, early or delayed puberty, and reduced reduced IQ. Prenatally, higher phthalate concentrations in the mother's system have been linked to a decrease in the child's ability to concentrate, working memory, perceptual reasoning skills, and information retrieval efficiency- at age 7.
Plastics are pervasive in our world, but a little awareness can go a long way in reducing your exposure and boosting your health!
Here 12 Tips for Reducing Phthalate/PVC Exposure for Adults and Children…
1. Choose toys made from natural materials (or at least only buying those made from phthalate-free plastic).
2. When redoing your home, look for "green," toxin-free alternatives in lieu of regular paint and vinyl floor coverings.
3. Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric or better yet install glass shower doors.
4. Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, and cosmetics.
5. Check your home's tap water for contaminants and filter the water if necessary. You may also want to use an alternative to PVC pipes for your water supply.
6. Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, scented candles or other synthetic fragrances and perfumes.
7. Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap.
8. Avoid processed foods (many are packaged in phthalate-containing packaging) and instead focus your diet on fresh, organic and locally grown whole foods.
9. Breastfeed your baby exclusively if possible, for at least the first six months (as you will avoid phthalates exposure from infant formula packaging and plastic bottles/nipples).
10. If you use baby bottles, use glass, not plastic.
11. Use only natural cleaning products in your home.
12. Buy food and/or water packaged in glass rather than plastic containers.