Recent Research Shows Plastics Contain Safe Chemicals, but Dangerous for Children


Image by George Dvorsky

The research of Dr. Leonardo Trasande and his colleagues revealed that plastics contain two safe chemicals, but are not safe for children. The two chemicals which were thought to be safe are di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP) and di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) belong to the phthalate class of chemicals, similar to di-isodecyl phthalate (DEHP). DEHP was found to have greater toxic effects on human health so it was replaced by DINP and DIDP in plastic products like food containers, wraps, cosmetics, and soaps.

The recent study declared DINP and DIDP unsafe and were linked to increased blood pressure, elevated insulin resistance, and other dangerous health problems in children.

According to Dr. Trasande, their study is a big help to make people aware of the danger of plastic chemicals. Aside from increasing blood pressure and increasing resistance to insulin, DINP and DIDP also cause other metabolic diseases.

The research conducted in NYU Langone Medical Center tested the urine of more than 1,300 adolescents aged 8 and 19. The results showed that the DIDP and DINP levels of the participants correspond to blood pressure levels. Another study was performed by the same group for 356 teens. Similar associations were found between the insulin resistance and chemical levels, leading to diabetes.

The results were published in the July 9th issue of the Hypertension journal, which showed that intakes of DIDP or DINP increase by 10%, while the blood pressure increase is equivalent to 1.1 mmHg.

The study further revealed that one in three children with high levels of DIDP or DINP has increased levels for insulin resistance, while one in four children with low levels of the two chemicals have above normal levels.

In 2002, EU regulations banned the use of DEHP for the same reasons. US manufacturers complied by using DIDP and DINP.

The problem was even the two chemicals were known to belong to the phthalate class of chemicals that cause the above mentioned health problems, these were not tested for toxicity, said Dr. Trasande.

Dr. Trasande said that they hope that strict federal action will be enforced against the extensive use of certain chemicals without conducting toxicity tests. Sadly, no federal law exists that will oblige manufacturers to perform the tests.

To protect your children from dangerous plastics, do not microwave foods in plastic, wash the plastic containers by hand and search for the numbers 3, 6, or 7 on the backs of the plastics. These numbers are indicators that DIDP and DINP are present in the plastic containers.





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