60 Minutes: Are Phthalates Safe?

May 24th, 2010 - 6:22 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
phMay 24, (THAINDIAN NEWS) How safe is the family of chemicals known as phthalates for human health and for the environment were the questions that CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday asked. The show provided the audience with some intriguing findings and initial reports that suggest that phthalates which are widely used in many plastic wares and childrens’ products can lead to adverse effects on a child’s growth and sexual pattern. Since the broadcast of the show, many people have shown their concern on the matter.

CBS’ “60 Minutes” went on to show how rampant is the use of phthalates in everyday articles and products. Not only are they used in plastic water bottles but also in products like shower curtains and shampoos. They are also used in many kids’ toys and other products. These chemicals’ group known as phthalates help the plastic to become more flexible and soft. “60 Minutes” kept in front of the audience the fact that the chemical was listed under the group of chemicals that “may present a risk” by the Environmental Protection Agency recently. It also said that a group of phthalates have been already banned by the Congress last year after a study carried out of Dr. Shanna Swan of University of Rochester Medical School found that phthalates disrupt the working of hormones in infant boys. The CBS team not only interviewed Dr. Shanna Swan on the matter but also many other researchers.

However, the American Council on Science and Health has reportedly published an article in its website that has criticized the allegedly ill-investigated presentation of the facts about phthalates and maintained that “60 minutes” investigation on phthalates has only left common people panic stricken on the matter. The website went on to say that “60 Minutes” provided “ample attention to the hypothetical theories and flawed studies” and lacked “proper review”.

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