Beware Hidden Phthalates in Plastics


I’ve been reading several books by the great Dr. Sherry Rogers lately.  I’ve pretty much become her disciple.  Friends, this lady knows EVERYTHING, and she has read EVERYTHING.  I have never come across a doc with as much nutritional and environmental (to say the least) knowledge as Dr. Rogers has.  Do yourself a favor: read at least one of her books; you will better your health, lengthen your life (maybe save it!), and become smarter and more informed.  They are an in-depth source of highly-researched, spin-free info on how to cure disease with nutrients and lifestyle changes alone.  And Dr. Rogers has a 30-year track record of doing just that.

My most recent reading has been in her book _How To Cure Diabetes_ in which she dedicates a significant portion to the concept of toxicity and its role in causing disease.  She places a particular emphasis on the role of phthalates.

Here are a few things I learned from Dr. Rogers in _How To Cure Diabetes_ about pthalates:
1) Phthalates are the number one toxin in the human body today, over 10,000 times higher than most other pollutants, according to Dr Rogers (235).  Every single human has a toxic body burden of phthalates.

2) Phthalates and other plasticizers damage our adrenal glands, genes, cell membranes, thyroid, and cause all manner of diseases, just to name a few. Possibly most profoundly, they poison the workings of our mitochondria, causing an array of disease cascades. (Rogers 235).

3)Phthalates are EVERYWHERE: IV tubing, carpeting, mattresses, cars, wiring, PVC pipes, lotions, perfumes, shampoos, nail polishes, deodorants, dental materials, and appliances are just a few ways we are exposed to phthalates, whether by outgassing, food contamination, or absorption through the skin.  Dr. Rogers refers to them as “the most ubiquitously unavoidable pollutant in the human body” (232).

4)”BPA-free” does not mean “phthalate-free” or “plasticizer-free.”  We can’t be fooled by the BPA-free labels we’re seeing everywhere; it’s a trick to make us think plastics are safe (Rogers 234).  And “there’s no safe level of phthalates” (Rogers, 239).

5) Phthalate toxicity keeps many people from healing and achieving true wellness.  We have to dump some of our toxic load before we can truly get well.

6)The concept of “lifetime detoxification.”  We have to detoxify throughout our lives, if we’re to withstand the onslaught of toxins, including phthalates, heavy metals, pesticides and other plasticizers that are endemic to modern life.  We have to consume detoxification nutrients and antioxidants, optimize our liver detox and elimination pathways (including pee, poop, and sweat), and we have to do it forever.

7)The value of Far Infrared Sauna in total body detoxification, especially in dumping your phthalate load, is huge.  I first read about FIR sauna several years ago, then revisited the concept in Dr. Mark Hyman’s books, and was completely convinced by the wealth of evidence presented by Dr. Rogers in her book Detoxify or Die.  I’ve been getting in our FIR 5-6 days a week since May. It’s time-intensive, but I use the time to read and relax, plus I’m detoxing my phthalates and heavy metals.

I feel pretty overwhelmed by the far-reaching effects of plastics in our environment and in our bodies. What to do? Well, I have a few ideas I’ve been trying to implement in my own household:

Switch to stainless
I’m switching all our plastic sippy and kids cups and dishes to stainless.  I just got my first Pura Kiki in the mail, and so far really like their stainless system with interchangeable silicone nipples.  We also have a couple Foogo straw bottles, which are nice because they’re insulated.  We still have a lot of plastic kids dishes to replace, but it’s a start. And I ditched my big insulated plastic cup for a glass version.  I’m also trading out our plastic storage-ware for glass.

Don’t drink bottled water
Get a Reverse Osmosis system and install it under your kitchen sink, then drink from a glass, glass bottle, or jar.  Just drinking pure water is a huge boon to your health. If you want a truly stylish non-plastic option for meeting your daily water quota, check out my pals over at Fig & Farm.

Avoid packaged foods
Cans, styrofoam, shrinkwrap, plastic baggies — it all contains pthalates that leach into foods.  As much as possible, we’re trying to consume our food straight from the ground.  I haven’t figured out how to avoid plastic food packaging altogether, but I’m taking steps to minimize our exposure. (On that note, if anyone has ideas for storing breastmilk that doesn’t involve plastic baggies, I’m all ears.)

Use Dr. Rogers’ Detox Cocktail
She introduces the concept of the Detox Cocktail in Detoxify or Die, but also mentions it in some of her other books.  Basically it’s 1-2 grams of Vitamin C, 300-600 mg R-Lipoic Acid, and 400-800 mg Reduced Glutathione; all washed down with a big glass of pure water.  We take ours at night before bed alongside our evening dose of Natural Calm.

and, as always…

Eat a whole foods, plant based diet…
…high in veggies, nuts and seeds, legumes, and fruits.  Minimize refined grains and sugars.  Eat organic and local whenever possible.  Nothing can take the place of eating veg.

Got other ideas?  Fire away, fellow vegeaters.



Vegeater is a Clinical Nutritionist currently home raising two little vegeaters. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition, and is passionate about helping people use food and nutrients as therapy for disease and as disease prevention. She also likes cooking wholesome plant-based food, fermenting things, knitting, and thinking about how to live simply and well in our modern world. She believes, as Wendell Berry put it, that "what we eat determines how the world is used."