Checking labels for potentially dangerous ingredients has become a must for shoppers. A number of chemicals used in hair care and personal care products have reached a new level as companies work to grow their profits and improve production efficiency. Some of these ingredients required to accomplish that can be harmful to your health, especially phthalates. Let’s have a quick look at this chemical ingredient.
What Are Phthalates?
Phthalates are chemical compounds often used in plastic products to increase flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity. Phthalates are found in many shampoos and hair products, personal care, toys, electronics and a variety of household products including detergents, adhesives, plastic wrap, plastic containers, flooring, furniture, wallpaper, shower curtains and other things made of vinyl or PVC. Additionally, food products contain phthalates because foods such as milk, butter and meats are commonly packaged or stored in plastics containing this toxin.
Why Are Phthalates Dangerous?
Phthalates are known as endocrine disruptors because they mimic the body’s hormones and can interfere with natural hormone activity. This can cause abnormalities in the body and may lead to fertility problems and cancer. Phthalates are colorless and odorless liquids and these toxins can be absorbed into the body not only with food but through the air and skin too. Plus, higher temperatures result in higher concentrations of phthalates in the air.
How to Avoid Phthalates
You can reduce your exposure to this harmful chemical by taking a few simple steps. First, don’t microwave food in plastic containers as heat allows phthalates to leach out of products. Second, use glass and stainless steel for storage and drinking, particularly hot beverages. Lastly, phthalates are used in perfumes, eye shadow, moisturizer, deodorant, nail polish, liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner and hair spray. Shop only natural personal care products and check the labels to ensure they are phthalates-free.
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