Are environmental toxins making me sick?

A Phthalates & Parabens Profile can help identify everyday exposures to toxins from the use of items such as personal care products and plastic food containers. Environmental toxins should be evaluated as a "first step" to help patients get back on the road to wellness.

Why assess phthalate and paraben levels?

Exposure to phthalates and parabens is more common than you may realize. Phthalates and parabens are often classified as xenoestrogens, foreign compounds in the body functioning as endocrine disruptors by binding specifically to estrogen receptors.

Endocrine disruptors are associated with diseases such as:

  • Endometriosis

  • Infertility

  • Breast cancer

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Prostate cancer

  • Testicular cancer

  • Decreased sperm count

Other health problems associated with daily exposures are:

  • Liver toxicity

  • Immune effects such as allergies and asthma

  • Reproductive toxicity

  • Pubertal development

Where are phthalates and parabens found?

Phthalates, also called "plasticizers", are found in numerous everyday products such as:

  • Children's toys

  • Cosmetics

  • Cleaning products

  • Air fresheners

  • Perfumes

  • Furniture

  • Vinyl flooring

  • Plastic food containers

  • Medical products

Di-(2–ethylhexyl) phthalate ester (DEHP) is a common additive to Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). This additive helps make PVC soft and pliable to be molded into eye–pleasing shapes. PVC products are marked with the plastic identification code 3. The analytes measured in this profile are metabolites of DEHP. In perfumes and air fresheners, phthalates are often listed as "fragrance".

Parabens are used as preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in personal care products, such as:

  • Shampoo and conditioners

  • Soaps

  • Makeup

  • Lotions and creams

  • Shaving gels

  • Hair gels

  • Pre–packaged foods

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