A new study has shown that certain chemicals found in a wide range of plastics that were once widely considered to be safe are linked to the risk of developing hypertension and insulin resistance.
A new study assessing the safety risks of exposure to two chemicals compounds found in most plastics has some scientists ringing the alarm. According to a report from Mother Jones, the compounds, which are used in hundreds of products including cosmetics, soaps, and plastics, have been linked to hypertension, insulin resistance, and a wide range of other health problems largely affecting young people.
The chemicals di-isononyl (DINP) and di-isodecyl (DIDP) were considered to be safe for human use for years since their introduction. They are derived from a phthalate called DEHP, a precursor that has been associated with high blood pressure in multiple studies. Even though most people assumed these chemicals were safe, no study has ever assessed the risks of prolonged exposure until now.
In the study, scientists from the Langone Medical Center at NYU examined urine samples from over 1,300 youths aged 8 to 19. They found that there was a strong connection between levels of DINP and DIDP in the blood and hypertension.
In different study, the same team examined 356 teens and found that there was another similar link between levels of the chemical and resistance to insulin, which can lead to the onset of diabetes.
Scientists recommend keeping your exposure to these compounds at a minimum, and the best way to do so is to avoid products marked with 3, 6, and 7 on the outer packaging. It’s also safer to choose fresh food over foods packaged in plastics, and to always avoid putting plastics in the microwave.
Plastics have often been sold as safe when the research suggests otherwise. Regulators should use all available data to help inform their decisions about how to address the health risks associated with these plastic compounds. Given that some of the risks posed by these chemicals can be quite severe, consumers should demand that these harmful compounds be removed from a wide range of products.