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CEH Center's Dr. Galvez on Plastics and Childhood Exposure

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Published on Dec 13, 2007

Dr. Maida Galvez of Mount Sinai's Children's Environmental Health Center discusses the use of plasticizers, such as phthalates and bisphenol A, in baby bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, toys and baby products. She gives advise on how parents can protect their children and themselves.

Phthalates are found in many common consumer products such as food packaging, vinyl flooring and wall covering, medical supplies such as intravenous tubing, and personal care products including fragrances, cosmetics and nail polish. Bisphenol A is found in the lining of canned foods and polycarbonate plastics as is found in water bottles, water dispensers and baby bottles.

What can you parents do to minimize a child's exposure to plastics?
To minimize exposure to phthalates and bisphenol A parents can:
1. Look for children's products that are marked free of phthalates and/or bisphenol A
2. Avoid placing plastics in the dishwasher and the microwave since high temperatures may promote leaching of the plasticizers
3. Look to recycling labels in the absence of mandatory labeling
#3 plastics may contain lead and phthalates
#7 plastics may contain bisphenol A
Instead, choose plastics that are labeled #1, 2, 4, and 5
4. Select fresh foods rather than canned food products
5. Choose stainless steel water bottles rather than plastic
6. Use glass containers for food storage
7. Wet mop and dust frequently to minimize exposure to phthalates in dust

Go to www.cehcenter.org to download the presentation in PDF format.

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