Shocking study says chemicals found in shampoo and makeup can kill 100,000 Americans prematurely every year – The Hill

The story at a glance

  • A new study by NYU researchers estimates that phthalates may be associated with somewhere between 91,000 and 107,000 premature deaths in the United States among adults aged 55 to 64.
  • The study found that people with higher levels of phthalates were more likely to die prematurely from any cause, especially heart problems.
  • The researchers noted that more research on the issue needs to be conducted and said the study does not establish a direct cause and effect association between phthalates and premature death.

Exposure to a synthetic group of chemicals called phthalates may contribute to about 100,000 premature deaths each year among older Americans, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental pollution.

Phthalates are used to make plastics more flexible and can be found in hundreds of products such as cosmetics, detergents, food packaging, soaps, shampoos and others.

The chemicals are known to interfere with the hormonal system of the human body. Disruptions to the endocrine system have been linked to “developmental, reproductive, brain, immune and other issues,” according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The agency notes, however, that assessing potential health problems in humans related to phthalates has been difficult because people are exposed to multiple endocrine disruptors at the same time.

But a new study by researchers at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine estimates that phthalates may be associated with somewhere between 91,000 and 107,000 premature deaths in the United States among adults aged 55 to 64 years old. The study estimates that the deaths could cost the country between $40 billion. and $47 billion a year.


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Researchers analyzed data from more than 5,000 adults aged 55 to 64 who participated in a US National Health and Nutrition Survey from 2001 to 2010. Participants provided urine samples so that their levels of phthalates can be measured. The analysis also involved those whose cause of death had been tracked through 2015.

The study found that people with higher levels of phthalates were more likely to die prematurely from any cause, especially heart problems.

“Our results reveal that increased exposure to phthalates is linked to early death, particularly from heart disease,” said Leonardo Trasande, the study’s lead author. in a report.

“So far we’ve understood that chemicals are linked to heart disease, and heart disease is in turn a major cause of death, but we hadn’t yet linked the chemicals themselves to death. “, Trasande said.

The researcher noted that more research on the issue needs to be conducted and said the study does not establish a direct cause and effect association between phthalates and premature death.


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Posted on October 12, 2021

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