How to Detox Phthalates
Phthalates are chemicals that work as plasticizers to increase the flexibility of plastics. These compounds are not bonded to plastic and this is why it is easy for them to be emitted when they are exposed to solvents or heat. Phthalates often migrate from items made from PVC into dust, air, water, sediment, and soil.
These compounds are found in caulk, adhesives, vinyl products, coatings on pharmaceuticals, flooring, extension cords coatings, appliance cords coatings, food, nail polish, fragrances, packaging, personal care products, carpet backing, paints, faux leather, mac and cheese, and printing ink. The United States and Europe have some strict laws that ban phthalates for use in toys as well as other objects like teething rings or anything that children can fit in their mouths.
Also, aside from food containing these chemicals due to packaging or processing, over-the-counter and prescription medicine contain phthalates. A study in 2010 by the FDA revealed a list of products that contain the chemical and fragrances had the highest levels of the chemicals.
Are Phthalates Dangerous?
Lots of people do not know about the dangers of phthalate exposure especially since they do not have an instant effect. These chemicals do not kill outrightly and they aren’t new as well. They have been noticed since the 70s in toxicity tests by scientists. Rats were used as models during these trials and the toxicology studies of the U.S. government showed that the rats were not harmed by the exposure in 13 weeks. However, baby rats were killed by the chemicals.
Some people wonder if using rodents as models for the studies is ideal considering the human metabolism of phthalates. Recent studies have revealed that rats have a different method of metabolizing phthalates from humans. The exposure limits for rodents are set fairly around 100mg daily. However, California has listed six types of phthalates as possible carcinogens in Prop 65 regulations.
This means that even though they will not outrightly kill you, they can still give you cancer. Most of the dangers of phthalates have been proven and are even worse with child and infant exposure. Other types of phthalates were removed from bottle nipples and teething rings about fifteen years ago due to FDA and EU regulations. Also, the United States has banned some phthalates used in toys for kids.
How Can You Detoxify Phthalates?
Like several other toxins, it is easier to avoid phthalates than to remove them from the human body. Reducing the usage of items that contain these chemicals is a good start. It may not be possible to get rid of them entirely in this modern world, but you can make a conscious effort to try. Here are some ways to detoxify phthalates:
Eat at Home
Many restaurants use plastics to store food and this could increase the amount of chemicals you are consuming. The food is often loaded with BPA and phthalates. One way to detoxify your body is to eat at home. You can prepare your meals at home and take them to work as lunch. This will go a long way to reducing the amount of plasticizers in your system.
Make Coffee at Home
Most coffee shops also use plastics or other sources of phthalates and this exposes the coffee to harmful chemicals during the brewing process. Also, the beans are stored in plastic bags before sending them to the plastic coffee maker which is also hot. It is brewed and then sold in a plastic-lined cup. It is much safer to make your own coffee at home. Also, if you can find a store that brews in glass, then you can buy coffee.
To prevent exposure to phthalates, buy beans in bulk. Be sure to store it in glass and drip it with paper filters, stainless steel French press, or a filter. Use a ceramic cup to take your coffee and you are good to go.
Buy Products for Personal Care in Paper, Glass, or Metal
Phthalates, BPA, and other toxic compounds can enter beauty products from plastic containers. They are easily absorbed into the skin. You don’t need to avoid these products entirely, simply replace them with alternatives that are safely packaged. If you cannot afford those products, find other ways to make your own beauty products. It will reduce your exposure to phthalates to a great extent.
Replace Plastic with Safer Alternatives
Since phthalates, BPA, and other plasticizers aren’t bound to the plastic chemically, they can be released into the atmosphere and then transferred to the skin when touched. Getting rid of plastics can help or reducing their use to the barest minimum. Start by replacing the plastic in your home as much as you can. Remember that children are more vulnerable to chemical exposure from plastic so if you have kids, you need to hasten the process. Try to replace the tableware and toys of your kids with safer options that aren’t made of plastic. Another way to do this is to opt for natural fiber clothing instead of synthetic clothing. Note that spandex is made from synthetic materials like plastic. Doing this can help reduce the number of phthalates in your system.
Other Tips to Detoxify and Reduce Phthalates Exposure
Note that avoiding plastics as well as heating food wrapped in plastic may help to reduce your exposure to phthalates. However, most food also contains some levels of the chemical. Some fragrances also contain phthalates, so opting for essential oils and removing air fresheners may come in handy.
Other studies have shown that vegan has slightly lower phthalate levels. So switching to organic food doesn't do much in this regard. Be sure to dust your furniture often to reduce the phthalate levels in the air in your house. As you do so, refrain from using furniture polish that contains the chemical.
A sauna bath may also come in handy to reduce the chemical levels in the body. Sweating has been proven to aid detoxification so exercising may also help reduce phthalate levels. Another habit that can aid the reduction of toxins in the body is an increased intake of veggies and fruits.