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Phthalates

We spend up to 90% of our time indoors – in our homes, our offices or at school. However, studies show that indoor air can be more polluted and therefore worse for our health than air outdoors, as indoor air and dust can contain a number of worrying harmful chemical pollutants. Children, particularly babies and toddlers playing on floors, [...]

New research, published today finds that people in the US who eat more fast food have higher levels of certain phthalate chemicals in their urine. The chemicals found, DEHP and DINP, are used as plasticisers in PVC plastics, and their use is partially restricted in Europe due to health concerns; they are also hormone (endocrine) disrupters. [...]

Food packaging, factory equipment, food utensils - almost everything we eat has been in contact with one or more of these items. The EU’s laws should ensure that chemicals used in these materials are safe, but they do not go far enough and contain holes. These holes – for example a lack of harmonised rules [...]

New research, published today, finds that the costs across the EU of exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals could be over €150 billion annually in health care expenses and lost earning potential. Chemicals with hormone (or endocrine) disrupting properties (EDCs) are present in many everyday products and are frequently used as pesticides, but industry lobbying has delayed [...]

New research, published today, finds that there is a link between the exposure of pregnant women to the phthalate DEHP and the development of their baby boys. As the press release for the research states: “Our findings show that even at low levels, environmental exposure to these ubiquitous chemicals can adversely affect male genital development, which [...]

The EU's REACH system for regulating chemicals was supposed to bring with it a significant improvement in protection of people and the environment from toxic chemicals. But is it delivering? The latest developments in the debate over alternatives to the phthalate DEHP, used in PVC products, suggest that there are some serious problems. One particular [...]

New research has found that the children of women exposed to higher levels of certain phthalate chemicals when pregnant have lower IQ at seven years old. The research, published in the journal PLOS One, looked at the levels of phthalates (a commonly used group of chemicals) in the urine of 328 mothers late in their [...]

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in a wide range of products - this introduction from a 2013 scientific paper is a good summary: "Phthalates are a group of ubiquitous chemicals present in many consumer products, including building materials, furnishings, clothing, paints, food packaging, toys, personal care products and pharmaceuticals. Many of them are [...]

Last Tuesday I spoke at a Chemical Watch conference in Brussels as part of a day of presentations and discussion about enforcement of EU chemical laws like REACH. As I emphasised in my presentation, REACH is supposed to provide a high level of protection for human health and the environment. This won't happen if companies can dodge [...]

Chemical analysis has found that some loom bands & charms have very high levels of phthalates in them - well over 50% in the case of some charms. As the analysts themselves say: " The latest loom bands craze in particular is throwing up some alarming results considering these products are so child appealing" Loom bands - an astoundingly popular [...]