What are phthalates?

Alan Greene, MD
Phthalates are a class of man-made chemicals that make plastics more flexible, and also help things linger in the environment. In this video, I will explain how phthalates get into our food sources and why we should care. 
Phthalates are man-made chemicals used in many different products. These chemicals are put in some toys and bottles to make plastics flexible. They are also used in cosmetics and other personal-care products like some lotions and shampoos.
Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
Phthalates are chemicals that make plastic flexible and make perfume smell good. In hairspray, they keep your hair in place without cracking.

But they're toxins and carcinogens. Some were banned in Europe because they cause hormonal problems. And they're in your body right now. Women who use hairspray with phthalates have more sons with genital mutations. They decrease testosterone and the decrease sperm counts.

Phthalates are small molecules that penetrate your skin. They get right into your body and spend at least a week there. Many people are allergic to them. California banned them. And some are banned in toys.

Certain plastic food wraps and PVC plastics with a number three recycling designation contain them. Throw these out and avoid phthalates.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Phthalates are chemicals found in vinyl products such as shower curtains and fragrance products such as air fresheners. They may lower testosterone and metabolism levels, causing you to gain weight and lose muscle mass. They’re also found in vinyl flooring and industrial-grade plastic wrap used to shrink-wrap meat in the grocery store.
This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Chemical Toxins

Those Sweet Smells Could Be Toxic
Those Sweet Smells Could Be Toxic
Between perfumes and the scents wafting off hand soaps, laundry and personal care products, air fresheners and scented candles, you end up being expos...
Read More
How can people be exposed to benzene?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
People can be exposed to benzene by smoking, breathing second-hand smoke, pumping gasoline, driving,...
More Answers
How can I reduce airborne toxins in my home?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Here are some ways to have cleaner air in your home: Keep your windows open whenever possible.Use an...
More Answers
How Can I Limit Formaldehyde Exposure in My Home?
How Can I Limit Formaldehyde Exposure in My Home?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.