Resolve to be Phthalate Free in 2019
New Year’s resolutions like losing weight, being on time and exercising more frequently all produce obvious benefits. This year, I’d like to invite you to improve your life in ways you never dreamed possible. How? By avoiding phthalates, a harmful chemical stealthily added to products found in your medicine cabinet and under your kitchen sink.
Phthalates are bad because they interfere with your endocrine system. Things you use every day, such as cosmetics, detergents, candles and cologne, as well as items like peel-and-stick “wood” flooring and cling wrap, contain them. You’ll never see the word phthalate listed as an ingredient (more on that later) so let us help you by providing a list of items to avoid. The reasons to ditch phthalate-containing products are profound and compelling, and the phthalate free substitutes are cost effective and typically work so well, you’ll never look back.
- Prone to headaches? Eliminating phthalates may decrease the frequency and intensity of your headaches
- Can’t lose weight? Phthalates and other endocrine disrupting chemicals called obesogens are more prevalent in overweight people, suggesting these EDC’s may interfere with appetite suppression
- Having difficulty getting pregnant? Eliminating phthalates may improve your semen quality and quantity
- Pregnant or planning to become pregnant? Research suggests that eliminating phthalates may decrease the chance your baby will have autism, ADHD or genital birth defects
Heady information but how does one go about eliminating phthalates, especially since they’re not listed as an ingredient? Here are some steps to guide you:
- Read ingredient labels on personal care products and cleaning supplies like a hawk. If you see the word fragrance or parfum, toss or don’t buy! These words, allowed by the FDA to protect a company’s secret formula, indicate the presence of up to 100 or more chemicals, including phthalates.
- Vet your bathroom for these phthalate containing products: Shampoo, soap, body lotion, shave cream, deodorant, lipstick and other cosmetics, skincare, hairspray, perfume and cologne, air fresheners, scented candles and your PVC shower curtain.
- Pitch these phthalate laden cleaning products: Laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, all cleaning supplies, scented garbage bags, toilet paper and air fresheners.
- Avoid these foods and storage containers: Soups, sauces and other factory-heated foods; meats, cheeses and other fatty foods stored in PVC cling wrap; and plastic food storage containers with the number 3 on the bottom.
Phthalates are found in a myriad of other places (inflatable mattresses and that new car smell) but rather than throw up your arms in surrender, know that when you give up the phthalates in just your personal care and cleaning supplies, you will immediately feel better. You’ll also be highly sensitive when pushing your grocery cart down the cleaning supplies aisle, but this is your body telling you to run the other way!
We have several renowned scientists and authors who are experts in the field of hormone disrupting chemicals speaking at Sherwood Green Life at our Greenwich, Connecticut store, so be on the lookout for these announcements. You can be a leader in our effort to create phthalate free zones in our homes, schools and offices, and I hope you’ll join us to become part of a larger movement to create a healthy, phthalate-free world.