Phthalates (pronounced like “thay-lates”) are pervasive chemicals used to make plastics soft and to make fragrances linger – and they’re suspected of interfering with the reproductive development and causing asthma and allergies, according to The Olympian.
Phthalates are released from PVC and other plastic products, and they build up in the indoor environment. We eventually inhale them or swallow them. Phthalates are also found in teethers, bath toys, and other toys, where they end up in children’s mouths.
Once flushed, phthalates persist in the environment.
Here are some tips to avoid phthalates:
Avoid PVC plastics. It’s identified by recycling symbol No. 3 with “PVC” or “vinyl.”
If you purchase a new plastic product with a strong odor, let it air out outdoors before you bring it inside.
Replace vinyl shower curtains with a natural material.
Use metal or cloth lunch boxes instead of the plastic kind.
Choose natural flooring over vinyl flooding.
Avoid synthetic fragrances.
Do not buy vinyl toys.
Vacuum regularly with a HEPA vacuum to eliminate phthalate dust.