MauiHawaiiTheWorld

Shedding Light in the Darkness

Plastic Wrap Chemicals Making Kids Sick

Clingfilm … a health issue or not?

According to studies out of New York Univerity’s Langone Medical Center, two chemicals increasingly used during manufacturing to strengthen plastic wrap, soap, cosmetics, and processed food containers have been linked to a rise in risk of high blood pressure and diabetes in children and adolescents. The compounds, di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) and di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP), are both in a class of chemicals known as phthalates.

“Our research adds to growing concerns that environmental chemicals might be independent contributors to insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure and other metabolic disorders,” says study lead investigator Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, a professor at NYU Langone.

In the journal Hypertension online July 9, the investigators report a “significant association” between high blood pressure and the presence of DINP and DIDP levels in study subjects.

In the earlier study, published in May in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the same NYU investigators found an association between DINP and DIDP concentrations and increased insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

“Alternatives to DIDP and DINP include wax paper and aluminum wrap; indeed, a dietary intervention that introduced fresh foods that were not canned or packaged in plastic reduced phthalate metabolites substantially,” says Trasande. “Our study adds further concern for the need to test chemicals for toxicity prior to their broad and widespread use, which is not required under current federal law (the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act),” he says.

Trasande says people can also avoid using plastic containers labeled on the bottom with the numbers 3, 6 or 7 (inside the recycle symbol), in which chemicals such as phthalates are used.

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