Credit: © roboroborob / Fotolia

Credit: © roboroborob / Fotolia

Common chemicals in plastic have been linked to chronic disease

Common chemicals in plastic have been linked to chronic disease, according to brand new research from Australia.

Phthalates, also called plasticizers have been the subject of controversy for a while. According to Tox Town, an environmental website from the National Institutes of Health, phthalates are used to make plastic and vinyl more flexible.

The Australian researchers found a link between levels of plastic chemicals in urine and increases of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension in men.

We found that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure increased among those men with higher total phthalate levels,” said Prof. Zumin Shi, the study lead author.

Phthalates have ben linked to many serious conditions besides the ones found in this latest study.

A study published in May in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that phthalates are linked to allergies in children.

Back in April 2016, a study was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showing that phthalates disrupt hormones.

While we still don’t understand the exact reasons why phthalates are independently linked to disease, we do know the chemicals impact on the human endocrine system, which controls hormone release that regulate[s] the body’s growth, metabolism, and sexual development and function,” Prof. Shi said.

While further research is required, reducing environmental phthalates exposure where possible, along with the adoption of healthier lifestyles, may help to reduce the risk of chronic disease.”

The study showing that common chemicals in plastic have been linked to chronic disease was published in the journal Environmental Research.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Maternal Phthalate Exposure Promotes Allergic Airway Inflammation over Two Generations Via Epigenetic Modifications.” The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, n.d. Web. 4 May 2017.
2. “Common Chemicals in Plastic Linked to Chronic Disease.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 14 July 2017.
3. “The Association between Total Phthalate Concentration and Non-communicable Diseases and Chronic Inflammation in South Australian Urban Dwelling Men.” Science Direct. Environmental Research, n.d. Web. 14 July 2017.

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