Have you been reading about phthalate? (Phthal as in thal, rhymes with Hal.) Yikes! Talk about your basic poison! This stuff is murder!

Phthalate is a toxic “softener” added to plastics, cosmetics and everything else they can lay their hands on.

For starters, it throws the endocrine system–thyroid, adrenals, immune system, etc.–into a total tizzy because it pours bogus estrogen into our bodies. Besides whacking the endo system, bogus estrogen causes inflammation, a major cause of dread diseases.

And as with so many things, kids get hit the worse.

It starts in utero. Perhaps Mom uses a hair spray guaranteed to keep her hair in place without making it stiff. Phthalate.

And maybe Mom gets her nails done with a polish that’s extra crack resistant. Phthalate.

Then there’s the phthalate in perfumes. In fact in all scents, such as laundry detergent, dryer sheets, household cleaners, room fresheners, candles . . . If it’s scented, think phthalate.

But nobody’s blowing the whistle to alert moms-to-be that this stuff goes straight to the baby and does dastardly things. And we’re not talking minor things. For one instance, phthalate negatively affects the genital development of boys in the womb.

Birth just takes the baby from one toxic environment (the womb) to another (the home).

Did you know that baby talc, baby shampoo and baby lotion all contain phthalate?

Not to mention soft teething rings. And bath toys. In one ray of good news, some big toy companies, Disney and Mattel, have agreed to phase out phthalate. Maybe someday. Perhaps.

And now we know phthalate interferes with the process of masculinizing infant male brains. No more John Waynes with phthalate around.

Not to mention that it causes premature breast development in our baby girls. Next thing we know, they’ll be selling bras and diapers in sets.

And it appears phthalate is behind the huge increase in allergies and asthma in recent years.

The Environmental Protection Agency has studies that prove exposure to even low doses of phthalate affects fetal development, among other things, but the FDA, politicized beyond recognition, issues nice little reports saying everything’s just fine, move along, nothing to see here. They ignore the studies, then say the lack of studies proves their point.
So what can we do to protect ourselves?

Ditch scented products. If that’s going too cold turkey for you, start using essential oils for fragrance, perhaps.

And don’t use plastic bottles or containers with a recycle code (on the bottom, in a little triangle) of one, three or seven. Codes one and three include phthalate. Code 7 means “Other,” so maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. How’s that for clarity?

And, of course, watch out for phthalate in any of the everyday products I mentioned. Read labels. Buy a magnifying glass if you have to, but read the labels.

Unless a label says “Phthalate Free,” the codes to check for are DEHP, DINP, DBP, DEP, or DIP. Maybe any set of letters ending in P.

Suspect all soft plastics. For instance, the covering on breast implants often includes phthalate. Pacifiers and shower curtains, too. We can’t assume anything, so we have to verify.

If you ever need a blood transfusion, ask if they use phthalate-free tubing so at least you don’t add to your problems. Same for dialysis.

Bottom line: When customers no longer accept phthalate, companies will stop using it. So spread the word by telling friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, the UPS man, doctors–everybody you encounter. We have a fight on our hands, and we need recruits.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

Author's Bio: 

Bette Dowdell defines determination. In a really deep health ditch, with doctors who didn’t help, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. She never intended to be a health expert, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Bette’s still researching, and you can get her free health e-mails by signing up at