Chemicals In Shampoo & Makeup Linked To Early Death, Study Finds


Exposure to a common class of chemicals named phthalates was linked to premature deaths, especially deaths caused by heart disease, a new study in Environmental Pollution found.



The man-made chemicals are found in several consumer products, such as food-storage containers, shampoo, makeup, perfume, and children’s toys. However, scientists have known for decades that phthalates can interfere with vital hormone function.



Even the smallest hormonal disruptions can cause major effects like developmental and reproductive issues. Phthalates exposure has also been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in many studies.



These chemicals have a rap sheet,’ Leonardo Trasande, the lead author and director of NYU Langone’s Center for the Investigation of Environmental Hazards, told CNN. ‘And the fact of the matter is that when you look at the entire body of evidence, it provides a haunting pattern of concern.’


photo of assorted makeup products on gray surface


NYU Grossman School of Medicine analysed data from over 5,000 adults between the ages of 55 and 64. They found that those with the highest level of phthalates in their urine were more likely to die earlier than expected, particularly of heart-related causes.



Phthalates are normally added to products in a bid to make them longer-lasting. Numerous plastic tubing and some children’s toys might contain the chemicals so they’re harder to break, and toiletries and cosmetics commonly include phthalates to maintain fragrance.


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This chemical class is so common that phthalates are even nicknamed ‘everywhere chemicals’. However, they pose a threat if inhaled or ingested, so children are at an especially high risk of exposure.



If you want to keep phthalates out of your home, make sure to use unscented beauty products, cleaning supplies, and laundry detergents. You can also avoid them by using glass, stainless steel, wood, or ceramic to store foods and buy buying fresh produce instead of canned and processed versions.


You should also avoid air fresheners and all plastics labeled as No. 3, No. 6, and No. 7, as well as microwaving and machine dishwashing plastics.

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