Health

Products that contain BPA or phthalates

Updated 9:46 AM ET, Wed June 29, 2016
Share
08 bpa products08 bpa products
1 of 9
Bisphenol A, or BPA, and phthalates are often called "everywhere chemicals" because they're found in so many products -- from the water bottle you to take to the gym to the flooring in your kitchen. Scientists have voiced concerns about these chemicals disrupting our bodies' hormones. Recent studies link them to a variety of fertility problems in men and women. The FDA says it is still investigating the safety of BPA and monitoring our exposure to phthalates to determine whether there is a risk. Shutterstock
Plastic food containers: Most people's exposure to BPA comes from food and water stored in plastic containers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. BPA can leach from these containers into our meals, especially when they are heated in the microwave. Shutterstock
Nail polish: Phthalates are used to make plastics more flexible, according to the FDA, and are often found in cosmetics. For instance, phthalates help keep your nail polish from cracking. They're also found in shampoos and lotions. Shutterstock
Dental sealants: Here's yet another reason to brush your teeth (although, fair warning: toothbrushes can contain phthalates). "Dental materials used to treat and prevent cavities can contribute to very low-level BPA exposure for a few hours after placement," according to the American Dental Association. Shutterstock
Kids' toys: Phthalates can be found in kids' toys, rattles and teethers. "If a plastic product is flexible, it probably contains phthalates unless the label specifically says it does not," the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says. The biggest risk comes from items children place in their mouths. Congress has permanently banned three types of phthalates -- DEHP, DBP and BBP1 -- in any amount over 0.1% in many children's products. Shutterstock
Canned food: BPA epoxy resins can leach into your food from the lining of metal food cans. In one CDC study, researchers found traces of BPA in the urine of nearly all 2,517 participants. Shutterstock
Plastic wrap: BPA is also frequently found in plastic wrap, although many companies have started to remove BPA from their products. You'll see "BPA-free" on these brands' labels, or you can check the company's website. Shutterstock
Hair spray: Phthalates are also used in hair spray to help avoid stiffness; phthalates allow the spray to form a flexible film on the hair, according to the FDA. Shutterstock
Vinyl flooring: The floors and walls of your home may also contain phthalates. A 2010 test of four "representative" vinyl flooring samples found four of the six phthalates severely restricted in children's products, with levels as high as 84,000 parts per million -- 84 times what's allowed in toys. Shutterstock