What are Phthalates?

Facts about Phthalates

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. They are often called plasticizers. Some phthalates are used as solvents (dissolving agents) for other materials.

Phthalates are added as fragrances to many commonly used products including face and body lotion, sunscreen, hairspray, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, soap, body wash, perfume, cologne, nail polish, candles, laundry detergent and household cleaners. The FDA estimates that over 65% of cosmetics contain toxic ingredients. Research from EWG.org and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 to 17 chemicals in name brand fragrance products – yet none of these ingredients are listed on their labels! If you wear cologne or perfume, consider switching to natural, phthalate-free botanical essential oils available at all health food stores.

Phthalates

Phthalates

In addition to cosmetic products, phthalates are added to plastic polymers and common household items such as toys, candles, vinyl flooring, garden hoses, air fresheners, paint, glue – even car dashes, and much more.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the EPA have classified phthalates as a probable human carcinogen and the Centers for Disease Control confirmed that humans can accumulate phthalates. When in our systems they can mimic estrogen, cause hormonal imbalances, as well as affect the thyroid, slow the metabolism, cause weight gain, loss of muscle mass in women, affect the size of the fetus and reduce the sperm count in men!!

Whether exposed via skin contact or inhaled, phthalates can cause allergies, asthma, sinus issues, headaches, rashes, and may even damage our kidneys, liver and lungs.

Choose products that are noted as organic and unscented. If you like fragrance, safe scents are usually noted as essential oils, extracts and natural fragrance. Contact the manufacturer to be 100% sure the fragrance used is not a synthetic phthalate.

Your skin is like a sponge and absorbs just about anything you put on it.

Make a habit of avoiding products made with phthalates; especially those who are planning to become or are pregnant, or if going through hormonal changes such as menopause. Avoid all hair, body care, and household products that contain synthetic fragrances. Toss fragranced candles, room deodorizers, laundry and household cleansers that are made with synthetic fragrances.

Choose fragrance-free products to be on the safe side or purchase products scented with essential oils and extracts.