Warnings about the danger of phthalates in plastics are once again in the news by way of a study recently presented by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
This time researchers have found a link between soft plastics such as those found in raincoats, rubber duckies, shower curtains and air mattresses* (PVC) and a reduced sex drive in women.
The primary reason for this is due to phthalates, which are already known to be endocrine disruptors that reduce testosterone levels in men, women and children and are associated with overall reproductive toxicity. However, the findings that women’s libidos can also be affected was revealed in a study by University of Rochester School of Medicine.
The findings noted each of the 360 women who participated in the study showed traces of phthalates in their urine. Those with the highest levels of phthalates were found to be two and a half times as likely to have lower libidos compared to those with the least. “They are throughout our environment and every single person studied showed measurable levels of these chemicals. So even at the levels found in the environment every day we are seeing an association with interest in sex,” said lead author, Dr. Emily Barrett, about the study’s findings.
If testosterone levels, declining sperm quality and feminization of males, early puberty in girls and an increased risk of diabetes weren’t enough to make all of us rethink what kind of plastics we use and bring into our homes, this new information will hopefully sway people to start rejecting these dangerous products by avoiding PVC and plastics marked with recycling label #3.