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posted by martyb on Wednesday October 13, @03:18AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the death-by-a-salesman dept.

Synthetic chemical in consumer products linked to early death, study finds:

Synthetic chemicals called phthalates, found in hundreds of consumer products such as food storage containers, shampoo, makeup, perfume and children's toys, may contribute to some 91,000 to 107,000 premature deaths a year among people ages 55 to 64 in the United States, a new study found.

People with the highest levels of phthalates had a greater risk of death from any cause, especially cardiovascular mortality, according to the study published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution.

The study estimated those deaths could cost the US about $40 to $47 billion each year in lost economic productivity.

"This study adds to the growing data base on the impact of plastics on the human body and bolsters public health and business cases for reducing or eliminating the use of plastics," said lead author Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and population health at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

[...] Often called "everywhere chemicals" because they are so common, phthalates are added to consumer products such as PVC plumbing, vinyl flooring, rain- and stain-resistant products, medical tubing, garden hoses, and some children's toys to make the plastic more flexible and harder to break.

Other common exposures come from the use of phthalates in food packaging, detergents, clothing, furniture and automotive plastics. Phthalates are also added to personal care items such as shampoo, soap, hair spray and cosmetics to make fragrances last longer.

[...] The new study measured the urine concentration of phthalates in more than 5,000 adults between the ages of 55 and 64 and compared those levels to the risk of early death over an average of 10 years, Trasande said.

Journal Reference:
Phthalates and attributable mortality: A population-based longitudinal cohort study and cost analysis, Environmental Pollution [$] (DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118021)

Further edification:
Original study paper seems to be paywalled, but here's a summary.
2016 study on environmental contamination with phthalates and its impact on living organisms


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  • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @03:26AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @03:26AM (#1186566)

    Reparations for being filled with chemicals and plastic particles since birth?

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @11:27AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @11:27AM (#1186613)

      Only if you're black.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday October 13, @02:11PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 13, @02:11PM (#1186650) Journal

        What if I'm black and blue?

        --
        Employers should not mandate wearing clothing. It should be a personal choice. It only affects me. Junk can't breathe!
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @04:52AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @04:52AM (#1186581)

    Phthalates are also added to personal care items such as shampoo, soap, hair spray and cosmetics...

    good thing I don't use any of those, then!

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @05:09AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @05:09AM (#1186586)

      You might be joking but shampoo is particularly evil. I used to get dry, itchy balls when shampoo actually got on them. It was the old Breck. I don't know if that crap is the same formula, but I switched from that to some others and then went "no poo" in my 30s. I'll never use shampoo again--or cut my hair. Long hair with natural oils, and washing the scalp (not the hair) every few days works. I don't get dandruff unless I accidentally fall asleep with wet hair because a lot of dandruff is just an irritation you get from creating a warm, wet environment that allows fungus to grow. It's always there, but if you trap it against your scalp, it multiplies--at least that's true for many people and I'm one of them.

      Everybody has to find their own way, but for me it's "no poo" for the last 20 years. And no, I don't smell either. There's a slight natural smell maybe that only your SO will smell and I get no complaints. People have been brainwashed (no pun intended) to think they need to put that crap on their bodies. Women who spend loads at salons poisoning their bodies and ruining their hair ask me what I do! The only thing other than soap in there is jojoba oil with maybe some orange oil for a scent. Sometimes the soap/rinse strips oil and you need to restore it. The Indians used that for thousands of years, it's so healthy you could eat it (but don't because it goes straight through you and gives you the shits).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @09:45AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @09:45AM (#1186612)

        Gotta second that advice, washing your hair 1x a week is plenty.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Frosty Piss on Wednesday October 13, @05:19AM

      by Frosty Piss (4971) on Wednesday October 13, @05:19AM (#1186589)

      RMS, is that you?

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @01:09PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, @01:09PM (#1186638)

    https://newatlas.com/science/bpa-chemicals-plasticizers-damage-brain-cells/ [newatlas.com]
    Maybe we need to go back to glass reusable bottles?

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday October 13, @02:13PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 13, @02:13PM (#1186651) Journal

      I hope you realize that this would impose an undue burden for people to actually get up off their couch, and probably have to venture outdoors, to actually return glass bottles.

      --
      Employers should not mandate wearing clothing. It should be a personal choice. It only affects me. Junk can't breathe!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 14, @11:22AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 14, @11:22AM (#1186938)

        Or just live in a city that has both garbage and curbside glass recycling pickup.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by mcgrew on Wednesday October 13, @02:39PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday October 13, @02:39PM (#1186656) Homepage Journal

    Well, I'm 69 so I guess those phthalates no longer affect me.

    --
    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pTamok on Wednesday October 13, @03:08PM (4 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday October 13, @03:08PM (#1186664)

    It's not just phthalates. Bisphenols and similar are also nasty, and are used in the linings of cans used for preserved food and liquids (such as beer, or cola)

    Ask the experts: do the plastic linings of tin food cans contain BPA? [theguardian.com]

    Glass jars are not such a bad idea from the 'avoid potential and actual endocrine disruptor chemicals' point of view, but they can be criticised for other reasons.

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 13, @08:29PM (2 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday October 13, @08:29PM (#1186761) Journal

      Glass jars […] can be criticised for other reasons.

      Namely?

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by pTamok on Wednesday October 13, @09:46PM (1 child)

        by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday October 13, @09:46PM (#1186806)

        Fragile, giving dangerous shards when broken. Heavier than metal containers, which increases shipping costs. Bulkier than metal containers, which increases shipping costs. Difficult to get a consistent seal between lid and jar (which increases spoilage rate). Uneconomic to recycle: the world has a surplus of glass sent into recycling streams. It is still cheaper to make new glass for food containers than struggle to make the recycled glass stream pure enough. If deposit schemes ran (like they do/did on beverage bottles in many countries), then you might have a chance, but engineering for re-use, rather than re-cycling, means even thicker containers to handle the round trips.

        I am very much in favour of glass containers for food use, but the economics have driven the use of plastics and metals. I far prefer to drink beer from glass bottles than plastic-lined aluminium cans, but if we go back to using glass, prices will have to go up to cover the extra packaging costs. I might be able to afford it, but many people on restricted budgets would have to find more things to go without, which is not a kind thing to do.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, @06:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, @06:22PM (#1187335)

          I bet the alcohol in the beer and the sugar in the cola is probably more dangerous to the drinker than the other stuff.

          And I say this as someone who drinks a bit of booze a few times a week. Alcohol is a carcinogen.

          As for canned stuff, the nitrites in Spam and similar will probably kill you faster too than the traces of stuff leaching in from the can lining.

    • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Thursday October 14, @03:22AM

      by captain normal (2205) on Thursday October 14, @03:22AM (#1186861)

      About the only thing I can think of right off hand that can still (see what I did there) be brought in glass jars is "White Lighting".
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonshine [wikipedia.org]

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