Phthalates

This is what happens when you let your health advice column be taken over by an environmental writer. This week s Science section of the New York Times included an advisory about
Another useful, safe chemical bites the dust, thanks to California's ridiculous Prop 65, which lists chemicals as dangerous "at the drop of a rat." This time, it's the ubiquitous "high phthalate," DINP. Good luck finding a replacement!
Phthalates, a group of ubiquitous chemicals that are perennial darlings of the anti-chemical movement, have been accused of being responsible for just about everything from birth defects to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Well, now they may be going onto California s chemical wastebasket called Proposition 65, ostensibly a list of chemicals that cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
A new "study" purporting to show a link between exposure to common class of chemicals phthalates is a travesty of sound science. The article was clearly written with an outcome in mind, and the authors did an excellent job of getting to that outcome by torturing their data, using multiple study chemicals and multiple analytical tools to get their desired "statistical significance." It's still a load of hooey.
The always-brilliant Dr. Joe Schwarcz, the director of McGill's Office for Science & Society and a chemist, has once again done what he does best: hunting down junk science (not much of a challenge) and excoriating it. This time he takes aim at the animal rights zealots at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), a radical animal rights group that is sometimes sardonically referred to as People Eating Tasty Animals.
In fear of getting left behind, Walmart the world s largest retailer followed in Procter & Gamble s footsteps last week in deciding to require full disclosure of chemicals used by companies selling cosmetics and cleaning products.
It never ends. Having nearly put themselves out of business because of huge improvements in the environment over the last few decades, environmental and consumer safety groups are looking for work.
It s that time of year again. Summer s over, and school is starting again. And with this new year comes another (predictable) chance for activist groups posing as scientific experts to scare parents
When the EU adopted the anti-science precautionary principle as its guiding paradigm a decade or more ago, we don t think anyone (except perhaps its anti-progress advocates) had any idea how low the regulatory process would stoop in service of its ideology.
Michael A. Kamrin, Ph.D., wrote a technical paper, "Phthalate Risks, Phthalate Regulation, and Public Health: A Review," which appeared in the February 2009 (Volume 12, Issue 2:157-74) Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews.