The Danger of Phthalates

What are Phthalates?

Plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity) .Human-made chemicals used in the manufacture of household and industrial products such as children's toys, infant-care and personal-care products, cosmetics, garden hoses, raincoats, adhesives and lubricants.

Who is at Risk?

Mainly infants and toddlers due to their mouthing behavior with products containing phthalates

The Dangers!

  • Phthalates block male hormones and can interfere with normal genitalia development
  • High phthalate levels can cause sluggish sperm, low androgen and testosterone levels in adult males
  • Most Americans tested have metabolites of Phthalates in their urine
  • Easily absorbed and evaporated into food
  • Commonly found in PVC piping, shower curtains and carpeting
  • Phthalates are endocrine (hormone) disruptors, meaning they interfere with normal brain function
  • Phthalates send signals in the body that could result in Autism, Breast Cancer, Testicular cancer and reduced sperm counts

Dangers in Cosmetics

Phthalates are used in cosmetics because they cling to the skin and nails to give perfumes, hair gels and nail polish more staying power.

Can be absorbed through the skin and inhaled

How to Avoid Phthalates:

  • Don't microwave your food in plastic
  • Ladies-Check your makeup labels
  • Go Organic
  • Read the labels, you can identify phthalates by their chemical abbreviations
  • Choose plastics with the recycling code 1, 2 or 5
  • Paints and other hobby products may contain phthalates as solvents, so be sure to use them in a well-ventilated space.
  • Opt instead for wooden and other phthalate-free toys, especially during teething stage.

Common Chemical Abbreviations for Phthalates:

  • DBP, DEP (found in personal care products)
  • DEHP (used in PVC plastics including some medical devices)
  • BzBP (used in some flooring, car products and personal care products)
  • DMP (insect repellant and some plastics)
  • Also labeled as fragrance in many products

Phthalate Free Products & Manufactures

(Deodorants, Hairspray, Body lotions, Nail Polish)

  • CertainDri Anti-Perspirant Roll-On
  • Dove Powder Anti-Perspirant Deodorant
  • Lady Speed Stick Soft Solid Anti-Perspirant
  • Secret Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant Platinum Protection Ambition Scent
  • Soft & Dri Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Clear Gel
  • Johnson and Johnson (see - 12)
  • SC Johnson
  • Avon
  • Aubrey Organics
  • Aztec Secret
  • Certain Dri
  • Chandrika
  • Simplers Botanical Company
  • Valhalla Essences
  • Curel Soothing Hands Moisturizing Hand Lotion
  • Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Original Moisturizing Lotion
  • Lubriderm Skin Therapy Moisturizing Lotion
  • Neutrogena Hand Cream
  • Suave Naturals Sun Ripened Moisturizing Body Lotion
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Healing
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Dry Skin Lotion
  • Kiss Colors Nail Polish
  • L'Oreal Jet Set Nail Enamel
  • L'Oreal Jet-Set Quick Dry Nail Enamel
  • Maybelline Shades of Your Nail Color
  • Naturistics 90 Second Dry! Super Fast Nail Color
  • Revlon Nail Enamel
  • Revlon Super Top Speed Nail Polish
  • Urban Decay
  • Burts Bees products

Contact Us


Physical Address:
Student Recreation Center
150 Bodenheimer Drive
Boone, North Carolina 28608

Phone: (828) 262-2100
Fax: (828) 262-3033

A department of UREC in the division of Student Development.


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