Phthalates pose a great danger to children, particularly while still in the womb, and baby boys born to mothers with high levels of phthalates in their systems have a 10-times greater chance of suffering reproductive damage. With over one billion pounds of phthalates produced each year in popular industrial compounds, plastic softeners, hairsprays, perfumes, cosmetics, toys, shower curtains, wood finishers, lubricants, certain medical devices and more, phthalates exposure comes in many shapes and sizes.Animal studies shown the chemicals used in phthalates inflict much damage, including reproductive and developmental harm, organ damage, immune suppression, endocrine disruption and cancer. The chemicals are ever-present in our environment and the exact dangers of long-term exposure are relatively unknown.Small doses may cause huge problems, particularly in developing infants. Studies published in environmental health publications report that higher levels of phthalates exists in humans than previously thought with exposure coming from ingestion, inhalation, direct injection, and skin contact. Most concerning are these chemicals’ effects on reproductive health.Research found that pregnant women exposed to common levels of phthalates might have baby boys with smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent. Other research found phthalate exposure resulting in sperm damage for adult men.Dr. Ted Schettler, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, explains the risks: “The correlation found in this study is extremely troubling and deserves urgent follow up. The last thing you want is DNA damage to sperm, which can lead to infertility and may also be linked to miscarriages, and birth defects, infertility and cancer in offspring … The link with [the phthalate] DEP is also a concern because, until now, DEP has been considered one of the least toxic phthalates when examined in other ways. Since everyone in the general population is exposed to phthalates from a variety of sources, the results of this report, if confirmed and verified, identify a significant risk to public health.”Toys made from soft plastics contain phthalates that contaminate our environment placing small children at risk because they put everything in their mouths and ingest phthalates when they do. Phthalates are so widely used that it may be nearly impossible to eliminate exposure. However, it is important for everyone but particularly important for pregnant women or women of child-bearing age is to avoid using plastic when storing your food and drinks and to read labels avoiding products that contain Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Diethyl phthalate (DEP) and Butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP).Parents take notice, many of the things that your children treasure including new toys, playgrounds, and even an afternoon of arts and crafts present serious biological dangers. Take precautions that help reduce the risk!
One of the biggest ironies in the history of mankind is that every time we create, build or invent something to make our lives easier, there’s usually a price we have to pay for it. Since we started building skyscrapers, many lives have been lost either during their construction or when earthquakes damage them or reduce them to rubble. Even some of the medicines we make to heal us can have adverse side effects if taken improperly. In the realm of technology, prolonged exposure to certain electronic or electrical machines and devices can take a toll on one’s health, and these include that portable communication gadget we take with us practically everywhere we go: the mobile phone.What used to be just a gadget for making/taking calls and later on sending/receiving text messages has evolved into a power-packed, portable machine that can perform various tasks that make our lives easier. However, despite its many useful features and capabilities, using it for long stretches can have negative effects on our health. Those who have unlimited mobile plans are the ones that are potentially more vulnerable to these effects since they are more likely to use their phones for extended periods.Based on studies conducted by various scientific groups, some serious health hazards can be associated with heavy mobile phone use. Even the World Health Organization has declared that the radiation emitted by cell phones can be linked to brain cancer. There are also studies that show that carrying a phone on your belt or in your pants’ pocket can cause diminished sperm count for men, thereby affecting their reproductive health. For women, no study has been published about a mobile phone’s effect on their reproductive health. However, several articles suggested that cell phone radiation can cause harm to a developing fetus. Whether or not you believe in these findings, it is always smart to err on the safe side and minimize your phone use if you’re an expectant mother.Aside from reproductive health concerns, there are also other health issues that are believed to be caused by exposure to mobile phone radiation such as sleep disturbance and even changes in the behavior of children. Some say that the studies showing the ill effects of prolonged mobile phone use are not definitive and that more research should still be done, but you certainly wouldn’t take the risk of experiencing any of the health issues mentioned earlier by not minimizing your phone use.Be on the safe side by making an effort to reduce your exposure to mobile phones.