The Dangers of Phthalates and BPA
Phthalates and BPA: The So-Called “Everyday” Chemicals
You may have heard of Phthalates and BPA before but had no idea on what these things are. Phthalates is a compound used in the manufacture of plastic. Phthalates increases the durability, flexibility, longevity, and transparency of plastics. This chemical is widely used every day, from the manufacture of enteric coating of medicinal tablets to the manufacture of adhesives. It can be found in almost everywhere. Likewise with BPA; BPA is short for Bisphenol A. BPA enables plastic to be tough and clear. Common products that use BPA are baby bottles, epoxy resins, and sports equipment (e.g. Swiss balls) to name a few.
These two chemicals has been around for quite some time – phthalates was introduced in the 1920s while BPA during the 60s and were supposedly safe to use hence almost all consumer plastic-based products contained these chemicals. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that these chemical compounds are a health risk.
Exposure to Phthalates
Exposure to Phthalates has been linked to several health problems like asthma; allergies, breast cancer, endocrine disruption, obesity, and ADHD just to name a few. And the scary part is that exposure to phthalates can be everywhere (both indoors and outdoors). Phthalates can be part ingredient of plastic, it can also be found in milk, cosmetics, butter, meats, erasers, common everyday household items; it’s everywhere. Phthalates is unable to create a covalent bond with plastics that is why when the plastic breaks down as time wears on, the phthalates are released into the environment.
Babies and young children are always the ones at great risk since they are always curious and tend to put things in their mouths or touch things that interest them.
Other Risk of Phthalates and BPA
Recently, the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) released the results of a study that adults, both male and female, who have been exposed to either phthalates or BPA has a greater risk of developing fertility problems. Notice that in the United States, more and more couples are seeking the aid of fertility clinics instead of conceiving naturally.
According to the study, medical researchers have found that these adults may have gotten exposed to phthalates and BPA through cash register receipts, personal care products, detergents, and containers that had been for drinking and eating.
Although lab tests on rodents have produced the said results, the FDA advised that more tests must be made before taking a general action against the use of phthalates and BPA.
For couples trying to conceive, getting exposed to BPA poses a health risk. Males exposed to BPA may end up with a reduced sperm count.
Samples taken from 501 couples who were trying to conceive showed that the men with higher phthalates concentration in their urine suffered 20% reduction in their sperm count and either had damaged sperm DNA or abnormal sperm.
The women who had higher concentrations of BPA in their urine showed that out the 114 pregnancies, 68 were miscarriages.
Awareness and Vigilance
These effects and health risks are just but a tip of the iceberg. Being aware and vigilant on what materials were used in the products that we consume is the key to minimising the risks. Take for example, you exercise ball. An exercise or Swiss ball is made of plastic-like rubber, and there is a big possibility that it contains phthalates and BPA. As a precaution, only buy from trusted and reputable sources.
One brand that has the reputation of marketing high quality, puncture-resistant Swiss balls is Swiss Balls Australia. The specialists when it comes to Swiss balls, medi-balls, exercise balls, and stability balls; Swiss Balls Australia only sells products that are free from phthalates and BPA. Don’t risk your health with substandard materials, trust a brand that is safe and is made of quality materials. Visit the store today.
You can also find us listed on:Directory World