Despite 2008 Ban, Chemical Still Present in Toddler’s Diets

In 2008, Congress banned a toxin called phthalates present in imported toys after determining the chemical could potentially harm the reproductive systems of boys. The chemical is considered an endocrine disrupter, due to research indicating that it interferes with testosterone if ingested. A new study published by Environmental Health journal reveals that infants continue to intake the chemical at a rate much higher than what is considered safe by the EPA.

Meats, fatty dairy products, and cooking oils all carry high levels of phthalates (thal-eights), causing toddlers who are eating solid foods to be consuming twice as much as the safe amount. Other sources of the chemical include dust and cosmetic lotions.

When the children’s toys were being brought up, it was specifically for kids mouthing a lot of plastic toys,” Sheela Sathyanarayana, associate professor at the University of Washington, said. “Now that we have more information and the research has evolved, we know [there are] other sources.”

Steps recommended to parents to reduce the presence of phthalates in their children’s diets include:

  • Avoid heating food in plastic containers, use glass of ceramic instead.
  • Avoid canned and processed foods, buy fresh or frozen instead.
  • Avoid high fat foods such as cream and whole milk.

Read more here- “Phthalates are out of Infants’ Toys but a Heavy Dose is Still In Their Food,” (Lenny Bernstein, The Washington Post)

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Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.

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