If you happened to watch sixty minutes this past sunday, you will have seen the story about the dangers of phthalates, a subject that’s been a pet peeve of mine for quite sometime. They talked about the possible dangers of phthlates in regular consumer products and that pregnant women should beware, as phthlates could cause abnormalities in male babies. The data, however, is inconclusive, so naturally the plastics industry stepped in quick as lightening to say that all these phthalate-containing consumer products are perfectly safe. As a green girl, I take the precautionary principle: I won’t use anything until it’s proven to be safe, so in the case of phthalates, I’ll avoid them where possible until otherwise assured of their 100% safety. It’s also come to the attention of a few highly respected doctors and scientists that phthalates found in perfumes, cosmetics, shampoos, nail polishes etc, really can cause injury to the developing brain and cause neuro-developmental disorders. This is why it’s really important that women, particularly of childbearing age, take steps to try to minimize their exposure. The problem is that you won’t find the word “phthalate” on a label.
Phthalates are typcially found in highly perfumed products, as the compound that causes the scent to linger. These synthetic compounds have also been linked to a lower IQ and childhood obesity (ugh – can you believe it!). It’s quite horrendous that our children are basically “test subjects”. Only 200 of 82,000 chemicals have been tested for safety and the “safe” levels often don’t take a child’s size into account. Oh boy, I wish I’d known as much as I do now when I was pregnant. The inconvenient truth is that we’ve probably all got some degree of phthalates in our blood, but after minimizing their exposure, test subjects, had a dramatic reduction of levels in their blood. Here’s how to minimize your exposure – pass it on..
1. Avoid perfumes unless the company openly states that they do not use phthalates of any kind. I love Ajne Perfume, as they are strong, lasting, and yet made only of natural oils.
2. Avoid scented candles, unless you know that they have been mixed with organic essential oils.
3. Avoid all home/car air-fresheners.
4. Make sure that all your skin care products are either unscented or scented with organic essential oils.
5. Buy non-toxic nail polishes.
6. Avoid as many soft plastics in your home as possible: vinyl shower curtain, kid’s rain coats, soft/pliable plastic toys etc