Sunday, December 11, 2011

Phthalates ABC's

NON-TOXIC MUNCHKIN’s  PHTHALATES ABC’s



WHAT ARE  PHTHALATES?
(pronounced tha-lates) They are a group (over a dozen!) of chemicals found in many common household products.  Unfortunately most of the names are hard to pronounce and even harder to remember... but four of the most common pthalates you want to look out for are:

1. DEHP (diethylhexyl phthalate)
2. diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP)
3. di-isononyl phthalate (DINP)

As your eyes start to glaze over, all you really need to know about these listed above are that they are what give plastics its soft and rubbery  texture (think vinyl, squeaky toys etc)

Another VERY common phthalate is:
DEP (diethyl phthalate).

DEP is found is a very large percentage of personal care products, as its functions include:  allowing lotions to penetrate and soften the skin and helps fragrance in scented products ‘bond’ to the other chemicals in the product.

HOW BAD ARE THEY?

The main problem with phthalates and children is that our munchkin’s bodies are immature and lack certain detox mechanisms that could otherwise help them rid themselves of nasty toxin.  In addition, their cells are dividing at an amazing rate (from the moment of conception, as these chemicals cross the placenta and can damage the fetus), their organs are developing, and thus during these periods of growth and development children are especially in danger of damage or disruption by chemicals.  SO CONSTANT EXPOSURE TO PHTHALATES CAN BE VERY BAD.

A recent study by Dr Shanna Swan, PhD (from Mt Sinai’s Children’s Environmental Health Center) studied the levels of phthalates in a group of pregnant women with the health of the baby boys they gave birth to. Among her findings:

1. She found that the higher the level of phthalates in the mother's urine during pregnancy, the greater the likelihood of “demasculiniztion” in baby boys.. we are talking about a broad range of birth defects and changes in the genitals of these baby boys (un-descended testicles, smaller penis size etc)
In a 2009 study  she found that phthalate  exposure affects the play behavior of young boys (International Journal of Andrology, 2009)

2. Another recent study done at Mt Sinai’s Children’s Environmental Health Center found phthalate exposure affecting the neurological development of both boys and girls in different ways and throughout early childhood: 
       IN BOYS
       -5 days after being born boys whose mother’s had higher levels of phthalates in their urine        showed decreased orientation and alertness
       - these boys at 5 weeks showed poor reflexes
       - at 3-6 years decrease masculine play behavior
       - after 3 years those same boys showed a decrease in mental scores
 
        IN BOYS AND GIRLS
       -At 9 years decrease vocabulary scores and IQ scores
       - Increase in childhood ADHD
       - children aged 4 to 9 who were exposed to phthalates in the womb showed an increase in    depression, aggression and conduct disorders

- a 2009 study of Korean children between the ages of 8 and 11 also associated phthalate exposure during childhood with ADHD


WHERE ARE THEY and HOW CAN WE GET RID-REDUCE THEM?

Follow this link to Non-Toxic Munchkins Phthalates 1,2,3’S

CRITICS and CHEMICAL LOBBYIST CLAIM THAT THE LEVELS OF PHTHALATES FOUND IN THESE PRODUCTS ARE TEENY TINY.. CAN THEY REALLY AFFECT US?

Well, to give critics SOME merit it is probable that if we were only exposed to ONE product with phthalates in our lifetime. .... if we only used ONE hand creme that contain phthalates in our life, or if our children only played with ONE toy during ONE week of his/her young childhood that contained phthalates then the amount of phthalates in their and our body would be quite small and probably not not have long term effects on us or our children’s development or health.   Lucky for us all phthalates, unlike most toxic chemicals that are found in commonly used products, actually break down quickly and potentially could exit our bodies relatively quickly if we stopped having contact with them.

However, phthalates are pretty much permeated in the environment.  The CDC has found them is just about every single blood and urine sample they have checked for pollutants for the past decade....

They are everywhere, in hundreds of products we are in contact with every single day...   so the problem (especially for pregnant mothers and small children who are still developing) is that the “tiny levels” of phthalates add up.  If you are exposed to 5 or 6 of them constantly at very low levels, together you get a substantial effect... ESPECIALLY on the TEENY TINY bodies of CHILDREN!


BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS!
Congress recently passed a law that bans certain phthalates from children’s toys!
Realistically it is impossible to cut all contact with phthalates BUT the GREAT NEWS IS that, because phthalates break down relatively quickly, to reduce contact with some results in a huge positive impact for ourselves and our munchkins health.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN  EASY TIPS ON HOW TO REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO PHTHALATES AT HOME

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