People with the highest levels of phthalates had a higher risk of death from any cause, especially cardiovascular mortality, according to a peer-reviewed study published Tuesday. Journal Environmental Pollution.
The study estimated that those deaths could cost US$40 to $47 billion each year due to reduced economic productivity.
“This study adds to the growing data base on the impact of plastics on the human body and strengthens public health and business cases to reduce or eliminate plastic use,” said lead author Dr. Leonardo Trasande, Professor of Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine. and population health at NYU Langone Health in New York City.
Even small hormonal disruptions can cause “important developmental and biological effects,” states the NIEHS.
“These chemicals have a wrap sheet,” said Trasande, who also directs NYU Langone’s Center for the Investigation of Environmental Hazards. “And the fact is, when you look at the whole body of evidence, it provides a frightening pattern of anxiety.”
The American Chemicals Council, which represents the US chemical, plastics and chlorine industries, shared this statement with Granthshala via email:
“Much of the material within the latest study by Trasande et al. is clearly incorrect,” wrote Eileen Connelly, ACC’s senior director of chemical products and technology.
He said the study lumped all phthalates into one group and failed to mention that industry maintains that high-molecular-weight phthalates like DINP and DIDP have lower toxicity than other phthalates.
“Studies like these fail to consider all phthalates individually and consistently ignore or underestimate the existence of science-based, authoritative conclusions about the safety of high molecular weight phthalates,” Connelly wrote.
The CDC says, “Children crawl around and touch many things, then put their hands in their mouths. Because of that hand-to-mouth behavior, the phthalate particles in dust are more vulnerable to children than adults. There may be risks.”
‘A snapshot in time’
Trasande said the new study measured urine concentrations in more than 5,000 adults aged 55 to 64 and compared those levels to the risk of early death over an average of 10 years.
“However, I’m never going to tell you that this is a definitive study,” Trasande told Granthshala. “It is a snapshot in time and can only show an association.”
A gold-standard double-blind randomized clinical trial is needed to learn more about how phthalates might affect the body, he said. Yet such a study would never be done, he said, “because we cannot ethically randomize people to their exposure to potentially toxic chemicals.”
“But we already know the association of phthalates with the male sex hormone, testosterone, is a predictor of adult heart disease. And we already know that these exposures can contribute to a number of conditions linked to mortality, like obesity and diabetes,” Trasande said.
Trasande said it’s possible to reduce your exposure to other endocrine disruptors, such as phthalates and BPA, which can still be found in canned goods and the lining of paper receipts.
“First, avoid plastic as much as you can. Never put plastic containers in the microwave or dishwasher, where the heat can break down the lining so they can be more easily absorbed,” he suggests. “In addition, cooking at home and reducing your use of processed foods can reduce the level of chemical exposure you are exposed to.”
Here are other tips to reduce your risk to you and your family:
- Use fragrance-free lotions and laundry detergents.
- Use odorless cleaning supplies.
- Use glass, stainless steel, ceramic or wood to store and store foods.
- Buy fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned and processed versions.
- Encourage frequent hand washing to remove chemicals from hands.
- Avoid air fresheners and all plastics labeled No. 3, No. 6 and No. 7
Credit : www.cnn.com