Hidden Threats in Plastics (phthalates)


Yet again plastics and their hazards are in the news. In an article in “The Week” a weekly news magazine, it was reported that phthalates (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity) are more harmful than has been revealed. It seems they disrupt hormones in the body. Clearly – not a good thing. A developmental deformity of the genitalia of baby boys is reported on the increase. Endocrine disruptors are responsible for interference of steroid hormones like estrogen and testosterone for example by binding to specific cell receptors. These plastic chemicals often have a very close molecular structure to our own natural hormones and cause a disruption to the normal function and/or growth of cells. In the case of baby boys, the formation of the penis is dependent on testosterone, but the look alike chemical is interfering with nature.

Where are these soft plastics found? They are in baby bottles and toys, water bottles, plastic dishes people microwave their food in, lipsticks and other cosmetics, some pharmaceutical pill coatings. It is most important to know that heat causes increased release of the phthalates.

We cannot depend on our government or the EPA to be our protectors nor can we rely on the food industry for safety. As an individual you must educate yourself and take action for you and your family’s health.
Here are some simple places to start:
• Avoid plastic water bottles. Get a good home water filtration system and use stainless steel or glass containers only to carry around water.
• Never microwave food in plastic – never.
• Purchase only natural cosmetics. Any product you put onto your skin and lips, consider yourself ingesting it. It is going into your bloodstream.
Theo Colburn PhD first wrote about the problem of endocrine disruption more that 15 years ago and has an updated website:

Information on these chemicals are found in scientific journals, books and research.1


Pamela Sky Jeanne ND

Portland, OR