A New York University study warned Tuesday that daily exposure to phthalates, a group of chemicals used in everything from plastic containers to makeup, could lead to nearly 100,000 deaths annually among older Americans.
The chemicals, which can be found in hundreds of products such as toys, clothing and shampoo, have been known for decades as “hormone blockers” affecting a person’s endocrine system.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, states that toxins can enter the body through such objects and are linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The research, which was conducted by New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and involved nearly 5,000 adults aged 55 to 64, shows that people with high concentrations of phthalates in their urine were more likely to die from heart disease. Was.
However, higher concentrations did not appear to increase the risk of death from cancer.
“Our findings suggest that increased phthalate risk is associated with early death, particularly from heart disease,” said study lead author Leonardo Trasande.
“So far, we have understood that chemicals are linked to heart disease, and heart disease in turn is a leading cause of death, but we had not yet tied the chemicals themselves to death.”
However, Trasande cautioned that the study does not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between phthalate exposure and death, as the specific biological mechanisms of that relationship are unclear.
“Our research shows that the toll of this chemical on society is greater than we previously thought,” adding that “it is undeniably clear that limiting exposure to toxic phthalates can help Americans improve their physical and mental health.” May help protect financial well-being.”
Other studies have already linked phthalates to more than 10,000 deaths per year associated with low testosterone levels in adult men.
The study said the economic loss due to phthalates is between $40 billion and $47 billion – more than four times what was previously estimated.
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