A new study found that a type of chemicals found in food packaging, phthalates, may play a role in early deaths of 107,000 older adults in the US each year.
According to the study published in “Environmental Pollution,” adults between 55 and 64 with the highest concentrations of phthalates in their urine were more likely to die, especially of heart disease, than adults with lesser exposure.
“Until now, we have understood that the chemicals connect to heart disease, and heart disease in turn is a leading cause of death, but we had not yet tied the chemicals themselves to death,” said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, the study’s lead author.
Phthalates are restricted or banned in toys, but are less restricted in cosmetics and food packaging.
“Our research suggests that the toll of this chemical on society is much greater than we first thought,” Trasande said. “The evidence is undeniably clear that limiting exposure to toxic phthalates can help safeguard Americans’ physical and financial wellbeing.”