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Phthalates, Synthetic Compounds Found in Hundreds of Consumer Products, Linked to Early Death

Accepted submission by fliptop at 2021-10-12 18:36:03
Science

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 [cnn.com]:

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 [nih.gov]" 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.

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


Original Submission