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Phthalate Exposure Tied to ADHD

Monday, 01 March 2010 00:00

Research into ADHD has found a strong correlation between severe ADHD symptoms and chemical compounds known as phthalates. Phthalates are industrial chemicals known for shaping plastics in bottles and toys, and are also a key component in many major cosmetics, such as shampoos, lotions and nail polish. The study looked at 261 children between the ages of 8 and 11, and found that those who had higher levels of phthalate in their urine had more severe ADHD symptoms. Phthalates have also been proven to cause birth defects, hormone disruption and reproductive problems. There are serious concerns about exposure to phthalates for pregnant or nursing moms as well.

To limit exposure to phthalates, emphasize the use of safer plastics (such as PETE, plastic bearing the No. 1 recycle icon); eliminate cosmetics that contain phthalates by using certified organic personal care products; and never use plastic containers or plastic wrap when heating food in a microwave. Websites such as health stuff.org, healthychildhealthyworld.org and cosmeticdatabase.org post information to help people check the individual safety level of most consumer products.

Pathways Issue 25 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Research Review , Issue #25.

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