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Five Guidelines for Keeping Plastics Out of Your Kids

Keeping plastics out of kids’ bodies and out of our homes is a new challenge faced by parents and others around the world. A large study of Swedish children has found that house dust contaminated by plasticizers–phthalates in particular–is associated with higher rates of asthma and allergic diseases. Other evidence has linked exposure to phthalates to reproductive and developmental disorders, cancer, and organ damage.

Phthalates aren’t often listed on product labels, nonetheless here are five steps to guide you to their whereabouts and keep them out of your homes and away from your kids:

  • Don’t get any product that contains n-butyl chemical group phthalate (BBzP) or di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), 2 common phthalates related to childhood health issues. Similarly, avoid merchandise that contain acid, anhydride, phthalic glycols, or any ingredient that starts with or contains the nearly unpronounceable letter combination “phth.”
  • Be very wary of soft flexible plastic and vinyl products. Everything from shower curtains to children’s toys, as well as dentition rings and different similar merchandise, will contain phthalates. Before buying a soft plastic item, especially a toy, call the manufacturer and ask them to verify tha the product is phthalate-free.
  • Use only 100 percent natural cosmetics and personal care products. Artificial versions of these product square measure two of the leading sources of phthalates inside the house.(But detain mind that the world “natural” on product labels is unregulated and will mean one thing.) artificial hair sprays, gels and mousses, antiperspirants and deodorants, nail polishes, and perfumes inparticular got to be avoided as they’re going to expose your child to phthalates with every hug.
  • If you have vinyl flooring, consider replacing it with something else as soon as possible in order to protect children from the phthalates vinyl contains. If replacement isn’t an option in the near term, keep children off these surfaces or place carpets or area rugs over them. When installing new flooring choose a non-vinyl option.
  • Avoid polymer clays, a key source of childhood exposure to phthalates. According to research conducted by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group common bakeable polymer clays sold under brand names like Sculpey, Fimo, and Cernit contain up to 14 percent phthalates by weight.

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