Daily exposure to synthetic chemicals called phthalates may have contributed to the premature deaths of 100,000 people aged 55 to 64 in the United States, a study found.
Often referred to as “chemicals everywhere,” this group of toxins can be found in toys, clothing, furniture and children’s food storage containers, said the study published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution. October 12.
They are also used in consumer products such as PVC plumbing, garden hoses, rain and stain resistant products, vinyl flooring, and medical tubing.
Apart from that, phthalates are used in personal care items like shampoo, cosmetics, soap, and hairspray to extend the duration of scents.
How these toxins affect the human body
Known as “hormone disruptors,” phthalates interfere with the body’s mechanism and affect the endocrine system. Toxins are linked to immune, developmental, brain, reproductive and other problems, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
The study from the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University interviewed 5,000 adults aged 55 to 64. Research found that people who had higher amounts of phthalates in their urine were more likely to die from heart disease.
“Our results show that increased phthalate exposure is linked to early death, especially from heart disease,” lead study author Leonardo Trasande told AFP.
Until now, the chemicals had not been linked to death despite being known to cause heart disease.
However, higher concentrations of phthalates do not increase the risk of cancer death, according to the study.
“Our research suggests that the toll of this chemical on society is much greater than we initially thought,” said Trasande.
Reacting to the study, Eileen Conneely, senior director of the American Chemistry Council, told CNN: “Much of the content in Trasande et al’s latest study is patently inaccurate.”
According to Conneely, the study lumped all the phthalates into one group and failed to identify high molecular weight phthalates like DINP and DIDP which the industry says have lower toxicity than others. phthalates. The American Chemistry Council represents the chemical, plastics, and chlorine industries in the United States.
What can be done
It is possible to reduce exposure to phthalates by avoiding plastics. “Never put plastic containers in the microwave or dishwasher, where heat can break the liners so they can be absorbed more easily,” CNN said, quoting Trasande.
Apart from this, individuals can use unscented lotions and laundry detergents, use glass, wood, ceramics and stainless steel to store food, refrain from purchasing canned food and processed, wash your hands frequently and avoid air fresheners.
(Edited by : Shoma bhattacharjee)
First publication: STI