Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a ban on the use of the common toxin and plasticizer phthalates from being used in any product that would come in contact with children under the age of 3. This hormone disruptor is showing up in urine samples of way too many people and has already been shown to damage DNA in male sperm, cause shortening of pregnancies, depression of testosterone in men, possibly causing insulin resistance and obesity. While this is a good first step, more needs to be done.
While banning a toxin like this is important, educating the public is more important. We are constantly being bombarded by thousands of chemicals each day with the only reassurance being given coming from the poison makers themselves. Phthalate users and manufacturers would have you believe that their products are safe and there are no health problems associated with their use but independent researchers would beg to differ. If you want more information about this issue go to either the Environmental Working Group’s website or to the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and search for phthalates. You may never use plastics the same way ever again but you will be protecting your health.