Phthalates: Health Risks and How to Avoid

Phthalates pic

Phthalates
Image: babycenter.com

Tom Redmond may be best known as the former owner of Aussie, a popular brand of hair-care products. Since selling Aussie, Tom Redmond has established Onesta Hair Care. His new brand is dedicated to natural ingredients, and never uses synthetic fragrances or harmful phthalates.

Phthalates are plasticizing chemicals commonly used in household items such as cosmetics, detergents, and children’s toys. They are useful as binding agents or solvents, and can also make plastics more flexible.

These compounds are also known to have adverse effects on human health. While reports on their specific hazards vary, they are widely known to cause endocrine and reproductive problems in both humans and animals. Some studies link phthalates to ADHD, asthma, neurodevelopmental problems, and certain types of cancer.

Phthalates are notoriously difficult to avoid. To minimize your exposure, consider staying away from synthetic fragrances, and reduce your use of plastic items. If you have small children, consider avoiding soft plastic toys manufactured prior to 2009, as these are likely to contain phthalates.

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