As a consumer, it’s hard for you to avoid exposure to phthalates because of their widespread use. Plus, you usually don’t have a way of knowing whether they are in your food or products.
But you can seek to reduce phthalate exposure.
- FOOD – Reduce your consumption of processed and packaged foods;
- SCENT – Avoid products with “fragrance” listed as an ingredient;
- PLASTIC – Don’t use products made from flexible vinyl plastic (also known as PVC, and sometimes labeled with the number “3” inside a triangle);
- LABELS – Look for a “phthalate-free” label on the packaging of personal care and cleaning products, and stuff for babies and kids, and avoid any product with the word “phthalate” in its list of ingredients;
- DUST – Use a wet cloth and a HEPA vacuum cleaner (for “high efficiency particulate air” filter) to clean up household dust.
What’s the best way to protect your health from phthalates?
Consumers and voters should demand that industry and government decision-makers take action to eliminate phthalates from food products and consumer goods.
Here’s who to contact and what to ask for:
Manufacturers should phase out the use of all phthalates in their supply chain in favor of safer alternatives, which already available, effective, and affordable.
Retailers should ask their suppliers to disclose all uses of phthalates in the products they sell, and to eliminate phthalates from their supply chain.
States should require companies to disclose the presence of phthalates in the products they sell and require that safer alternatives be used instead.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission should expand its ban on the use of phthalates in children’s toys and child care articles, as proposed.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should revoke its permission to use phthalates in industrial food processing and food packaging, as proposed.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should order chemical producers to test all phthalates for safety, including hormone disruption, using its new authority under the strengthened Toxic Substances Control Act.
Congress should give FDA a clear mandate and the tools it needs to ensure the safety of toxic chemicals like phthalates in cosmetics, personal care products, and food contact materials.