What are Phthalates?

Phthalates are industrial chemicals added to plastic products to make them softer or more flexible. These products include toys, flooring, vinyl (tiles, shower curtains, raincoats, etc.), plastic bags, inflatable toys. Phthalates also are also added to many cosmetics and personal care products as stabilizing agents. These products include scented lotion, shampoo, perfume, aftershave, nail polish, and hair spray. They are even included in baby products. The danger in phthalates is that they are not chemically bonded to the product, which means that the chemicals can leach out over time. For example, a new vinyl shower curtain can elevate indoor air toxics concentrations for over a month. (Environmental Working Group)

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