Friday, September 27, 2013

What's the Phuss over Phthalates?

eScential Products are Phthalate free. So many aren't...why should you care? Phthalates act as fragrance extenders. They make scent last a long time, something we, as consumers, like. In Canada, you do not need to list phthalates on the label. But, as they are used as part of the fragrance cocktail, if the label says "fragrans," "fragrance' or "parfum", you can bet it has phthalates. Have you ever walked outside, and smelled someone's laundry...that whiff of dryer sheets so potent it drifts out into the great outdoors and can be smelled literally half a block away? Well...that's the persistence and power of synthetic scent. It is not a good thing.

If that's not bad enough, I recently watched a commercial for a new product that you add to your washer, along with your laundry detergent, to make the scent in the detergent extra long lasting. And let's not forget those pesky plug in fragrance products to make your room smell good.

There are many kinds of phthalates, but 2 commonly used ones (dibutyl phthalate and diethylhexyl phthalate) are rated a "10" by Skin Deep. They are considered an endocrine disruptor by the Environmental Working Group, as well as by Environmental Defence. They are toxic to the reproductive system, and normal development. They persist in the environment, and, show up in both blood and breast milk. They are linked with an increase in allergies and asthma in children. As children are so small, they are especially sensitive to the effects of phthalates.

Phthalates are found in anything scented. BUT...did you know, that they can even be lurking in products that are NOT scented? In Canada, if you add scent to a product not to make it smell pretty, but, strictly to mask the scent of the raw materials in the product, they do not have to list scent on the label. Even worse - if this is the case, they can label the product "Unscented"!!! No wonder it's hard to get a "clean" product!!

Phthalates are listed as one of Environmental Defence's Toxic Ten. Always read labels! Even the word "unscented" on a product is not a guarantee of being phthalate free. Search out cosmetic lines that actively promote "toxin free" products.

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