What are Plasticizers (phthalates) Our everyday life is full of plastic products that are real poison for our health. A closer look at the ingredients of many plastic products and their effects and you quickly tend to live more plastic-free. Plastic is riddled with so-called plasticizers, which inhibit hormones and, for example, change the sex development of children. There are products that consist of more than 50% of them. Today's article is about these and other significant effects of plastic, more precisely plasticizers, on our health.
What exactly are plasticizers (phthalates) and what do they contain?
Phthalates are plasticizers for plastics. For example, they make product packaging softer and more elastic. PVC flooring would normally be really hard, but the phthalates make the floor softer and smoother. What seems good at first glance should make you wonder at second. Phthalates are permanently emitted from plastic products. Even the wonderful smell of new cars that we enjoy so much would not exist without phthalates. Phthalates are found in particular in personal care products, perfumes, deodorants, floor coverings, pipes and cables, and paints.
Plasticizers also enter the blood through the skin
These dangerous plasticizers are not only inhaled or enter the mouth via toothpaste. No, the plasticizers also get directly into the blood via the skin. Unfortunately, no general statement can be made about the mode of action of phthalates, because there are many different of these chemical plasticizers. As a rule, however, the group "brittle plastics" can be regarded as particularly hazardous to health.
These plasticizers contain the dangerous plastic bisphenol-A (BPA for short). Contact with BPA can have serious health consequences for us, provoking diabetes and heart disease, for example, and limiting fertility.
The consequences of plasticizers for our health
Plasticizers are particularly dangerous for children's development. Even though phthalate has been banned as a component of toys by the European Union, it is still detected in toys such as crayons. The plasticizers are so harmful to health because they have a hormone-inhibiting effect and in this way can influence pregnancy and demonstrably premature the onset of menopause. Toxicologists at the German Federal Environmental Agency confirm that regular contact with plastic has led to a steady decline in sperm quality in recent decades.
At the same time, the risk of testicular cancer increases. The risks of plastic consumption have been known for a long time and have even been proven. Nevertheless, a noticeably growing awareness of the plastic problem is only now developing in our society, which not only affects our direct contact with the plasticizers, but also has devastating effects on the environment.
How can you protect yourself from plastic chemicals?
How high the concentration of chemicals in a human body is, you can not usually determine or recognize yourself. But if you consume a lot of finished products, you can be prepared for the fact that the plastic load in your body tends to be high. So what can you do about excessive contact with plasticizers? Less to no convenience products and eating fresh food that you cook yourself. And stay away from fast food! Fresh produce straight from the farm and drinks from the glass bottle are optimal. Because in the supermarket, even the organic products are mostly wrapped in plastic. As far as children's toys are concerned: children put everything in their mouths and try things out. So clearly do without plastic toys and go for such wood products set. According to experts, the apartment should also be regularly ventilated and wiped, because the phthalates are also in the air and especially in the house dust.
When taking medications, always read the package insert and Google unknown abbreviations if necessary. Here, too, it is advisable to use natural cosmetic products, which are generally largely free of plastic. The Wooden toothbrush for example, is plastic-free. The plastic toothbrush can therefore be replaced by the wooden toothbrush with natural bristles without hesitation.
Unfortunately, our society accepts this high plastic contact in daily life. But I have the feeling that gradually an awareness of the excessive plastic consumption and the resulting waste is developing.
PS.: Do you already live without plastic? Here are the best Tips for a plastic free life. Good luck!