“Imagine a child sitting in his classroom, gazing through the window at the rain. He picks up his pencil and chews distractedly on the eraser at its top. Chemicals, classed in Europe as “toxic to reproduction,” dissolve in his saliva and enter his body.”
The above quote is from an article about a new study on phthalates, the chemicals in the eraser and thousands of other products we use everyday. Phthalates are dangerous chemicals, and they’re toxic to reproduction no matter what your country or continent.
They were banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission nearly two years ago (and in Europe 1999) in certain children articles and toys.
So, if they were banned, why are we still writing about them in both Europe and North America? Why are they still the subject of testing? Why did 140 environmental groups band together to release a new study about these chemicals?
Only a few phthalates were banned; there are plenty more that are not regulated.
They are so widespread – not only are they in every country that has plastics, they are so commonly used and accepted as the chemicals that turn hard PVC into something flexible that a consumer has to go out of their way to find one of the few, insightful manufacturers who refuses to include them.
The problem doesn’t occur only when children’s put things in their mouths or inhale fumes. We know now that even unborn children are exposed to these chemicals through their moms. If they’re in mom – and you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who’s body is free of phthalates – they are in baby.
They are, factually, endangering the entire human race by interfering with our reproductive systems as well as being linked to a number of medical conditions so prevalent in society that some may even consider epidemic.
Although the number of items containing phthalates is too long to list, there’s a good chance they are in any soft plastics in your home environment. But you can get rid of them. Many manufacturers are so aware of the problem, and the concern on the part of consumers, that their labels proudly proclaim ‘No Phthalates’. In that case, reading the label makes it easy. You can also get information on the contents of their products on their website, as it is with ours (our Naturepedic crib mattresses don’t contain phthalates or any other harmful chemicals(, or give them a call.
So, start with your plastics, like the items tested in the recent study – running shoes, plastic garden clogs, elastic bands, toothbrushes, pencil cases, and so on.
Also, in case you are not aware of this, phthalates are commonly found in scented products – everything from perfumes to cosmetics, skin care products, deodorant and laundry detergent. If it’s not scented with essential oils, it probably contains phthalates.
We want you and your children to be safe.