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Phthalates and Cosmetics

             In a Dateline broadcast it was reported that cosmetics may maintain potentially hazardous chemical called phthalates, which are shown to cause birth defects in animals. There is no evidence of harm for humans.
             Phthalates, chemicals that are used to soften plastics, are found in 52 different products. Of all 52, only one listed phthalates as in the chemical ingredients. Environmental groups rally for the removal of this chemical that they see as a threat to human health. They declared, "Chemicals that can damage the development and future fertility of babies don't belong in products marketed to women. .
             However, opposition towards this view is just as strong. The American Chemistry Council denied the use of chemicals in cosmetics could hurt people. "Phthalates are among the most widely studied materials in the world and have been researched and tested for more than 50 years, a council statement on phthalates said.
             A CDC research study was conducted and reported that indeed traces of the chemical has been found in the human bloodstream, but not enough to cause alarm. A FDA spokesman mentioned in a telephone interview that, "The only thing of concern that came up was this CDC report showing that women of childbearing age had higher levels of dibutyl phthalates in their blood. He continued, "The problem is the study didn't say where they came from and the use of phthalates is ubiquitous. .
             The FDA said Cosmetic Ingredient Review, an independent body that reviews the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics, would take a new look at phthalates this year and a representative of the agency would be there. The European Union, worried about the possible danger phthalates may present in plastic, banned their use in some baby toys designed to be put into the mouth.

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