It’s no secret that we’re living in a toxic world.
The air, water, and soil that surround us are all contaminated with things that impact our health—like lead and carbon dioxide.
And now there’s something else for you to worry about…
Because new research shows that daily exposure to THIS common threat—that’s hiding in plain sight—likely leads to hundreds of thousands of early deaths among seniors every year.
The worst part? The culprit is everywhere we turn—in our kitchens, bathrooms, cars, and MORE.
So, let’s talk about how you can identify the stealth culprit—and then, I’ll explain how you can minimize your exposure and ultimately, help save your health.
Phthalates are found in hundreds of products—from food storage and cosmetics, to kids’ toys and fabrics, and more. In fact, some people call phthalates “everywhere chemicals” because they are just that common.
And that’s exactly what makes these latest findings especially disturbing…
Scientists recently measured phthalate levels in the urine of more than 5,000 older adults between 55 and 64 years. (Yes, plastic residue is common in most people’s urine.) Then, they compared those levels against the risk of early death over a decade.
Ultimately, the team found that phthalates may contribute to as many as 107,000 premature deaths every year in the United States.
Shocking? Yes. But it’s hardly surprising.
As I’ve reported here many times before, phthalates are endocrine disrupters that hijack your body’s hormone production. Research has linked these chemicals to developmental and reproductive problems, as well as immune system issues. They also have ties to chronic diseases, including asthma, diabetes, heart problems, obesity, and cancer.
(I guess I can add #plastickills to my roster of hashtags. Because it not only kills the environment—it may kill us, too.)
So I can’t be the only one who thinks they should be a greater cause for concern than they are. That’s why we NEED to get these toxins out of our lives sooner rather than later.
How to minimize your exposure
Unfortunately, removing dangers like phthalates from store shelves can take decades, even with government support. (You see how long it took them to give trans fats the boot—this won’t be any different.)
But this is especially true when you consider just how ubiquitous phthalates, in particular, really are.
You may have heard them called “plasticizers,” since their main use is to make products more durable. (Common examples include PVC plumbing, vinyl flooring, medical tubing, garden hoses, food packaging, detergents, clothing, furniture, and automotive materials.)
Exposure is as simple as breathing contaminated air, or eating or drinking from plastic containers. Kids come into contact with phthalates from touching and mouthing plastic toys. And infants face exposure to phthalates in the womb.
Still, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your own exposure. First and foremost, avoid plastics as much as you can. Choose glass, stainless steel, ceramic, or wood for food storage. (And remember, never put plastic containers in the microwave or dishwasher—the heat breaks them down and makes the phthalates more likely to leach.)
In addition, phthalates are often used in fragrances—so use unscented lotions, laundry detergents, and cleaning supplies.
Another important strategy is to start cooking at home more, with fresh, whole foods. Because eating less processed food is going to lessen your exposure to chemicals of any kind. (We’ll talk more about that point tomorrow. So, as always, be sure to tune back in!)
“Synthetic Chemical in Consumer Products Linked to Early Death, Study Says.” WebMD, 10/12/2021. (webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20211012/snythetic-chemical-consumer-products-linked-early-death-study)