Imagine getting to participate in a study where all your meals are catered. That was the experience of a 10 local families. Researchers from Seattle Children s Hospital wanted to find out if they could reduce exposures to phthalates, chemicals used to make plastics that have a detrimental effect on hormones.
Participants were fed local, fresh, organic food in which plastics were not used in the preparation, storage or freezing process.
The results were unexpected. Instead of decreasing, the study showed participants exposure to phthalates actually went up.
Researchers say it could be that these exposures happen much earlier in the manufacturing process. Phthalates can come from unlikely places. For example, the flexible tubing used in milk production to collect milk contains phthalates.
High fat dairy contained high levels of phthalates. Also, spices tend to contain high concentrations of phthalates, especially ground coriander, which showed extremely high concentrations in the study.
Results suggest the biggest source of exposure to phthalates is now from our diet, rather than plastics. Researchers hope manufacturers will take notice.