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HOW TO choose phthalate-free products

Before you start eliminating phthalates, let's understand the basics. The term phthalate is used to describe a group of chemicals that are commonly used as preservatives. While phthalates can be found in a number of different products—they are most commonly found in cosmetics, beauty products and some pharmaceuticals. These chemicals have been used in commercial products since the 1920s.

So, if phthalates are located in a lot of everyday beauty items, then why are they so bad for you? Especially if they are so common? Scientifically speaking, phthalates are a type of “endocrine disruptor.” This is a type of chemical that has the potential to disrupt your body’s hormonal system. Effects of phthalate exposure include:

  • Developmental challenges

  • Decreased thyroid function

  • Reproductive effects

  • Neurological side effects

  • Compromising of the immune system

  • Increased chances of asthma in children

  • Increased chances of eczema in children

  • Neurotoxicity

  • Male reproductive issues

Simply put—too much phthalate exposure can cause some serious side effects.

Read your labels! 

  • Make sure to read for the acronyms DHEP or DiBP which are abbreviations for phthalates.

Pay attention to the three letter abbreviation, as they may be used in ingredient lists.
    • BBP (Butyl Benzyl Phthalate)DBP (Di-n-butyl Phthalate)
    • DEP (Diethyl Phthalate)
    • DiDP (Di-isodecyl phthalate)
    • DnHP (Di-n-Hexyl Phthalate)

    Phthalates are in more than 18 billion pounds of products every year—so take the time to check the items you are using, even if you assume it is phthalate free.

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