They’re called diisonoyl phthalate (DINP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), and it doesn’t matter whether you can pronounce their names properly: just know that you should avoid these chemicals which are commonly found in plastic wrap, soap, cosmetics, and food containers. A recent study of 1,329 children ages 8-19 published in the medical journal Hypertension, found a link between increased levels of the two chemicals and increased blood pressure. Another study reported that increased concentrations of DIDP and DINP were linked with an increase in insulin resistance. Ironically DIDP and DINP were introduced to be “safer” plastic alternatives, filling in for DEHP , which has been banned for a decade in Europe but is still allowed in the United States. Phthalates, which are commonly used as “plasticizers,” have been linked to numerous potential health issues, including several that involve metabolic functions. According to the article as well as to a variety of health organizations, you can limit you family’s exposure to these chemicals by washing kids’ bowls and cups by hand in lieu of using the dishwasher, avoiding plastic containers with #3, 6, or 7, not microwaving plastic food containers, and not using plastic wrap to cover foods in the microwave since the heating and cleaning processes can allow these chemicals to leach into foods.

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