Chemicals in plastics, beauty products, toys implicated in illness and premature death

The American Chemistry Council, which represents the U.S. chemicals, plastics and chlorine industries, had a different take on the new study.

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A new study links chemicals found in plastic food packaging, beauty products and children’s toys to premature death.


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NYU Langone Health’s Dr. Leonardo Trasande is the lead author of a new study that says synthetic chemicals may be responsible for up to 100,000 deaths a year in older people in the United States.

Phthalates are hormone disruptors and have been linked to infertility, obesity, heart disease, and poor development.

Chemicals can be found in many consumer products: food storage containers, beauty products, shampoos, perfumes, and toys.

A study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Pollution describes the enormous health and economic damage that results, with Scientific daily reports that the annual economic burden is between $ 40 and $ 47 billion, more than four times the previous estimates.

The new study was led by researchers at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine and involved 5,000 adults between the ages of 55 and 64. The results showed that those with the highest urine phthalate concentrations were more likely to die from heart disease than those with the least exposure, and more likely to die from any cause than those in the low-exposure groups; high levels of toxins do not appear to increase the risk of death from cancer.


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“Our findings reveal that increased exposure to phthalates is related to premature death, particularly due to heart disease,” Trasande said.

“Until now, we have understood that chemicals are linked to heart disease and, in turn, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, but we had not yet linked chemicals to death.”

Researchers are working to find out exactly how phthalates affect hormone regulation and inflammation.

CNN reports that the American Chemistry Council, which represents the U.S. chemical, plastics and chlorine industries, had a different view of the new study.

“Much of the content in the latest Trasande et al study is demonstrably inaccurate,” wrote Eileen Conneely, ACC’s senior director of chemicals and technology.


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He added that the study ignored the fact that some phthalates are less toxic than others and that the safety of high molecular weight phthalates is often ignored.

Phthalates are extremely common in consumer products, CNN said, such as PVC plumbing, vinyl flooring, rain and stain resistant products, garden hoses and some children’s toys to make plastic more flexible and harder. to break.

Phthalates are found in packaging for food, detergents, clothing, furniture, and automotive plastics. They are also added to personal care items such as shampoo, soap, hairspray, and cosmetics to make the fragrances last longer.

Exposure comes from breathing contaminated air or eating (or drinking) food that came into contact with plastic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The risk of exposure is potentially higher for those children, who crawl on the floor and tend to put things in their mouths.


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People have been avoiding plastics since the hormone disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) was studied and found to be toxic and associated with fertility problems, obesity, cancer, and heart disease. BPA is no longer used in the manufacture of bottles or other baby products, but it can still be found in the coating of canned goods.

Tips for avoiding these chemicals include a warning not to heat plastic containers of food in the microwave or put it in the dishwasher, as the heat can make the chemicals more easily absorbed.

Unscented cleaning and beauty products are recommended, including detergent; Plastic containers (and any No. 3, No. 6, and No. 7 plastic items) are recommended to be avoided.



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