- Phthalates are industrial chemicals used to soften plastics and used in personal care products, fragrance, inks, adhesives and coatings.
The food we eat—especially fatty foods like cheese—is the number one source of phthalates exposures.
During food processing, phthalates may escape from plastic tubing, hoses, conveyor belts, gloves, seals and gaskets. In food packaging, phthalates may leach from plastic coatings, adhesives in boxes, inks on food labels and sealants on metal lids and cans.
Many phthalates are already banned in many children’s products and toys.
Avoid personal care products with “fragrance” listed in the ingredients.
Added fragrances can include chemicals like phthalates that may be harmful during pregnancy and early life.
Eat lean and low-fat meat and dairy.
Toxins like PCBs and phthalates build up in fatty food, the body and breast milk.
Use bath toys free of PVC, phthalates and BPA.
Toys made from cloth, wood and other natural materials are a better bet.
Look for a “phthalate-free” label on the packaging of products for babies, kids, personal care and cleaning.
Avoid any product with the word “phthalate” in its list of ingredients.
Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging
As a partner of the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, Healthy Babies Bright Futures participated in independent testing that found toxic phthalates in 29 of 30 cheese products. The testing found phthalate levels more than four times higher in macaroni and cheese powder samples than in hard blocks and other natural cheeses.
With widespread news coverage of these findings, the Coalition and concerned partners nationwide are publicly calling on the Kraft Heinz Company, as the nation’s largest cheese maker, to commit to identifying the sources of phthalates entering their products and work to eliminate them. The Coalition is encouraging Kraft to take action while advocating for broader change in the industry to protect people, and especially babies and children, from chemicals of concern in their food.