Phthalates: what they are and what harm they cause
Their widespread use in industry due to the low cost and useful properties. This chemical compound is used in plastics. They are the common material we use daily. Plastic is convenient and has found application in all spheres of life. But phthalates, included in its composition harmful to health. In what products they contain and what harm to our body?
What kind of compounds – phthalates
Phthalates – salts and esters of phthalic acid. Due to their plastic products have such important qualities as softness, strength, flexibility, elasticity. Without these substances, the plastic loses these properties. And so the plastic becomes soft and easy to use until you create other compounds that can replace phthalates.
Diethyl – the most common of phthalates. The basic amount is used to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the rest – for creating rubber and paints, in cosmetic industry. It has the properties of the solvent and able to bind other compounds.
No phthalates no cost, and cosmetics: they are used to create the effect of "wet film". Thanks to them, the spirits retain the smell longer. Nail polishes, hair shampoos, antiperspirant, cosmetics contain these harmful compounds.
We use these substances daily, they become necessary as part of:
- children's toys and other products for children;
- carpet and wall coverings, automotive upholstery;
- packaging in which we buy items and even products;
- plastic window frames;
- detergents and lubricants.
These compounds are contained in many other products and items that we use every day. They are attached to plastic, but not enter with them into chemical reactions and gradually released into the air. Phthalates enter the body through the skin when you use cosmetics, with food that came out of plastic packaging, penetrate from the air into the lungs.
Odor plastic product give it phthalates. Do not buy toys or products whose packaging has a distinctive smell. It's fumes are toxic compounds that are already present in the air.
The danger of phthalates to the body
Almost every day the body receives small doses of toxic substances. Gradually accumulate in the tissues, they pose a risk to health. The blood travels through the body, exerting a toxic effect on the liver, kidneys, respiratory system, affect the endocrine, nervous, reproductive activity.
Can cause the development of diseases:
- tumors, formation of cancerous tumors;
- failures in the endocrine system;
- breathing problems: the development of asthma, especially in children;
- male and female infertility.
More they have an effect on the male reproductive system: reduced production of the hormone testosterone. Phthalates molecules structurally resemble the female hormone estrogen which causes feminization of men. And the consequences can be irreversible.
Threat data connection and pregnant women. Overcoming the placental barrier and affect the fetus. The result could be autism and intellectual impairment already in the early stages of development. In addition, they affect the formation of the reproductive organs in the fetus. When their content in a woman's body in the last months of pregnancy then children can't control their emotions, their attention is wandering, and aggressive behavior.
Manufacturers in Europe refused to phthalates and not add them to articles of constant consumption and the products which are in demand because of their carcinogenic properties. Carefully they control the production of toys and cosmetics. In the United States are not produced toys using data connections.
The use of phthalates in cosmetics
Phthalates in cosmetics is obtained by oxidation of phthalic acids. By definition is harmful substances, but they possess a number of important for the cosmetic industry properties:
- Aromatic: they can enhance the flavor and to dissolve the perfumery ingredients.
- Moisturizing: creams they form a film on the skin that retains moisture in the skin.
- Mitigation: protective film on the surface of the skin (with creams or lotions) protects it from drying out, cracking, adverse effects of the environment.
- Plasticizing: maintain consistency cosmetics: give fluidity lacquers, plasticity to creams, facilitate the application of antiperspirants due to the stabilization of their structure.
Use of cosmetics with phthalates is undesirable in General, but especially harmful to use it if there is a predisposition to allergies, the presence of bronchial asthma, during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
In cosmetics, these compounds have been used for over 100 years. Their value consists in its plasticity and durability. Connecting with the beauty products, they make their toughness is lower and the higher plasticity. Due to this, varnishes, creams, ointments, pastes become convenient and easy to apply on the skin.
On the basis of the Russian Federalthe law "On technical regulation of perfumery and cosmetic products" if the concentration of a substance exceeds 0.001% of perfume and 0.01% in rinse-off cosmetics, it should be included in the list of ingredients to be indicated on the packaging. Since the content of phthalates in products is slightly lower, the manufacturers prefer not to specify this component.
Phthalates and children's health
Because toys made of plastic available in many, toxic substances are found in toys, pacifiers, teethers, children's cosmetics. Harmful toys for children that affect the growing organism. They change the course of development of a child, puberty and behavioral responses.
According to different research institutes:
- In the study infants, the skin of which was treated with powders and lotions, it was discovered that a number of phthalates in children, 4 times more than children who did not use cosmetics.
- The presence of these compounds may be associated with overweight. Have the girls discovered their highest level.
- Asthma in children occurs when high concentrations of phthalates in the air.
- It turns out that mindfulness and child hyperactivity may also be associated with these harmful substances.
If in the blood of pregnant women carrying a boy are phthalates, eventually it will affect his sexual development, the formation of the genitalia. During the growth of often the behavior of such boys similar to the behavior of girls.
Toys containing PVC and has a pungent odor, is banned toys for kids. Not worth buying for the baby plastic. Carefully read the packaging manufacturer, we are talking about the health of your child. He should play safe toys and to use natural cosmetic products.
How to create safe living environments
The plastic firmly and permanently into our lives. We can't completely get rid of them. Methods you can use to determine whether surrounding objects phthalates, does not exist.
You can follow some simple rules:
- Get rid of the product releases an unpleasant odor.
- Get your desired plastic products from trusted manufacturers.
- Try not to use cosmetics during pregnancy.
- Avoid waterproof makeup.
- Choosing toys for a child, pay attention to labelling – SE.
The problem with phthalates is on the agenda. How to reduce the harmful effects of these substances? You need to choose a reliable producer, not to buy cheap products made of plastic, to use environmentally friendly materials. It is important to care not only about their health but also the health of future generations.