We are being exposed to a lifestyle where eating out and going for a frequent party has become a usual thing. It surely has become a part of our daily routine. The restaurants, hotels and the clubs serve the food which proves to gratify our taste-buds. Therefore, it keeps pressuring us to eat outside often. Eating outside might be attractive and relaxing, however, they also have many side effects. A toxic chemical named Phthalate is leaked through the packaging plastic bags, containers in our food. Thus, it contaminates the food and affects our health.
The food we eat outside is to fulfill our taste demands, the health is never considered in it. Therefore, one should always be aware of the hygiene, water being used, the place where they are eating and whether the food is very unhealthy to consume. However, there are also other facts that occur which most of the people don’t know and fall prey to the same. One of them is the ‘Phthalate’.
What is Phthalate?
Phthalates are nothing but the Phthalic Acid Esters. These are used to increase the transparency, flexibility, and durability. Mostly its used as a plasticizer. These types of plastics are used to pack the food. They are used as a softening agent for the PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). Also, these chemicals do not get bound to the vinyl but they can evaporate, leak and migrate. They get mixed up with the dust in the house/office. They are a risk to the human body. Common Phthalates are:
Dimethyl phthalate (DMP)
Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP)
Diethyl phthalate (DEP)
Diisononyl phthalate (DINP)
Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)
How do they Affect the human body?
The phthalates affect highly to the human body, in a bad way. The allergies like asthma, infertility in men and women, damages to the respiratory system, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer are some of the adverse effects of the Phthalates. A study was made by the researchers about the amount of Phthalates found in the human body of an individual. It was found that the number of Phthalates usually was high by 35% of a person who ate outside a day before.
Where are they found?
What is Phthalate found in? The Phthalates are found in the plastic bags and the wrappers used for packing the food. They leak out through these plastic bags and enter into our food. Eating this food is quite unsafe. They are found in the cosmetics too. This chemical product is used for the nail-paints so that the nail color does not fade soon. It is also used as a hairspray for smoothing of the hair. They are found everywhere a smell is felt. The insect-repellers, the cosmetics like shampoos, conditioners, the plastic toys, coatings of wires and tools, laundry detergents, and many more. Previously, the Phthalates were considered to be safe. However, when studied the effect of them on the bodies of males and females, the idea of them being safe was destroyed. These are the hormone-disrupting chemicals.
The Phthalates are known as the ‘endocrine disruptors’.
The ‘Endocrine disruptors’
The hormones in one’s body are secreted to message passing from a body part to other, fertility purposes, metabolism, and growth of the body. these hormones are secreted by certain glands when permission by the brain. It mix-up with the blood and thus completes its particular task. When certain other chemicals disturb this functioning of the glands, they are known as the ‘endocrine disruptors’
The male reproductive system adversely gets affected. The females are affected on the same basis. A pregnant woman when exposed to Phthalates may give birth to the abnormal babies. It was found that the woman carrying baby gave birth to a boy with less masculine behavior. Some of the young girls even suffered from premature development because of the intake of this endocrine disruptor ‘Phthalates’.
How to save ourselves from these destructive chemicals?
1. Try staying away from the fragrances.
2. Do not gift or let small kids play any plastic toys. Plastic toys should be avoided strictly.
3. Make a research of the recycling codes of the plastics. A code with 3 and 7 may contain Phthalates. Therefore, choose the plastic products with code number as 1, 2, 5.
4. Try avoiding the food with pesticides. Pesticides do contain Phthalates. The organic food or the home food should be preferred over it.
5. Make use of branded water purifiers. It is found that the water pipes contain an amount of Phthalates.
The young people are blamed to eat out frequently. However, according to the statistics made, an adolescent person eating outside found to have 55% more Phthalates than a young one eating at home. Most of the public is still unknown to what is Phthalate. The home food does not contain the Phthalates. To keep our human body healthy, one should always prefer home cooked food over outside.
One should avoid eating the food outside or should follow the above guidelines to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many factors affecting our body. But food is the main ingredient running the body. Such endocrine disruptors not only disturb our body functioning but also affects our health to a depth. Therefore, food should always be considered as an important factor and one should be aware of the food-facts.