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Phthalates: What Are They and Are They Making You Sick?

In Your Health on August 16, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Pronunciation:  THAL-ates

“More than ever, people are worried about how all the chemicals we’re exposed to are affecting our health: among them a family of chemicals known as phthalates, which are used in everyday plastics.”

-Phthalates:  Are They Safe? CBS/60 Minutes

Phthalates are chemicals that are commonly found in items made of soft plastics.  Examples include, medical and school supplies, and  household materials  like wires and cables.  They’re also found in your everyday beauty items like nail polish, shampoo, lip balms, and perfumes.    

This previously little known chemical is taking a lot of heat.  And advocates on both sides are talking to the press. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report stating that phthalates “may present a risk” to the environment and humans.  Some studies show that phthalates cause birth defects, increased risk of  cancer and disruptions in hormonal balances of pre-pubescent girls.  

Conversely, a study released on 5 August 10, by the American Chemistry Council  (ACC) found phthalates beneficial and safe to use in all current applications and dosages.  Steve Risotto, a senior director at ACC, made their position clear in a  YouTube press release.

While both sides agree that we all have phthalates cruising around our bodies, they can’t agree on whether this is good or bad. 

It’s up to you to decide what’s best and safe for your family. 

If you’re interested in reducing your “phthalate count” or just want more information, here are links to  videos and *sites that offer  phthalate-free products.

Burt’s Bees

Ecco Bella Organics

Aubrey Organics

Tom’s of Maine

Honeybee Gardens

Phthalates Are They Safe? – CBS News Video

Benefits of Phthalates – CBS News Video

Environmental Working Group  

How do you protect your health?  Do you use natural products?  Or does it really matter?

* Information courtesy of Big Green Purse

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