The results of a recent study show that prenatal exposure to phthalates is associated with language delays in children, which is the latest in a long list of medical conditions associated with these nasty chemicals. (You can read more about this study here).
Phthalates are found in food packaging, cosmetics, perfume, hairspray, plastic straws, vinyl flooring and wall coverings, and much more. Avoiding them can be overwhelming, but small shifts in your daily life can benefit the entire family.
Here are my top tips to reduce your family’s exposure:
1. Avoid plastics with a 3, 6, or 7 in the triangle label (usually on the bottom or side of the container).
2. Look for personal-care products with "phthalate-free" on the label (EWG's Skin Deep database is a fantastic resource).
3. Avoid synthetic fragrances (listed as “fragrance” in the ingredient list). Look for products that are fragrance-free, unscented, naturally-derived, or plant-based.
4. Use glass bottles and silicone nipples for feeding baby.
5. Drink filtered water, and use glass or stainless steel water bottles.
6. Buy organic food whenever possible, join a local community-supported agriculture (CSA) group, shop at a farmers’ market, or grow your own.
7. Toss old toys and plastics obtained before 2008, when phthalates were banned.
8. Use glass or stainless steel containers for food storage, and never reheat food in plastic containers.
9. Ditch plastic wrap and bags in favor of reusable options. They're a bit of an investment initially, but you'll save money in the long run. I love
The Children’s Environmental Health Network has a great FAQ section for you to learn more about plastics (including phthalates) and how to avoid them.