Even BPA-Free Plastics Leach Harmful Chemicals
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a known endocrine-disrupting hormone mimicker, present in a large majority of plastic products and even canned goods. But what about plastics that don’t contain BPA? A new study has found that even products that claim to be BPA-free oftentimes still leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals. In fact, the study found that 70% of common plastic products were tested positive for estrogenic activity, and the number skyrocketed to 95% when the products were put through real world conditions such as microwaving or dishwashing.
The study shows that even products labeled “BPA-free” still pose a threat to human health, and many contain phthalates, also known as “plasticizers.” Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals used in the production of plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Used to make the plastics more flexible and resilient, phthalates are also found in many cosmetic products and plastic containers.
Phthalates have even been found to reduce masculinity in men, according to a study published in the International Journal of Andrology. The researchers found that elevated levels of in pregnant women’s urine are linked to more feminine play behavior in young males.
Phthalates are found in, among other things:
- Processed food packaging
- Shower curtains
- Vinyl flooring and wall coverings
- Lubricant and adhesives
- Beauty products like nail polish, hair spray, shampoo, deodorants, and fragrances
Natural Society staff contribution