Next time you lather up your hair with mousse, take a few minutes to read the label and see if you find phthalates in the product. Before you put on your favorite deodorant, see if phthalates are present. Phthalates are a common ingredient in many cosmetic products often associated as being safe, but we are finding out that new evidence suggests otherwise.
Phthalates are found in many personal care products which include deodorants, nail polish, shampoos, conditioners and much more. Phthalates are well know solvents found in beauty care products but its origin is the industrial chemical manufacturing industry where phthalates continue to be added to polyvinyl chloride products (PVC) for durability and flexibility. Many building materials like vinyl siding contains phthalates; imagine a chemical compound commonly used to line the side of your home can also be found in the nail polish that coats your nails.
In June 2003, The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report in the journal Pediatrics that recommended further research on phthalates and there effects on the fetus and infants in needed. Animal research conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control, clearly showed harm and wide exposure by phthalates.
Research has shown that phthalates are a hormone disrupting chemical compound, it affects the developing male fetus, causes early puberty in girls and severely effects male sperm quality and sperm count.
Increased public awareness is critical. Canada has gone ahead and regulated all cosmetic products to label the phthalate content in their products. Some companies left the phthalates in the beauty products and have labeled their products while others have clearly removed the controversial chemical completely. Be an informed consumer and be very picky with what you put on your body. Avoid phthalates.
Dr Elias Markou, ND