Monday, March 05, 2007

Email to Snopes about Plasticizers

Generally I like Snopes (especially their page on Barack Obama), but they obviously have their biases when it comes to health issues. This article is outright intellectually dishonest if not technically dishonest. True, the plasticizers used in water bottles may not be carcinogenic, but they are known endocrine disrupters. These are not benign chemicals. They reference one article, and the doctor from John Hopkins himeslf states: "Phthalates are environmental contaminants that can exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine disruptors in humans and animals. If you heat up plastics, you could increase the leaching of phthalates from the containers into water and food."

This is the letter I sent them. We'll see if I get a reply.
Hi,

I'm emailing you about your article on PET plastic bottles here: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/petbottles.asp

You reference only one link. If you read that article you will note that he is only referring to dioxins. Obviously dioxins are not in plastic bottles. However, if you read it carefully you will note that he admits that endocrine-disrupting phthalates are used: "Phthalates are environmental contaminants that can exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine disruptors in humans and animals. If you heat up plastics, you could increase the leaching of phthalates from the containers into water and food."

That's what he says. Note that Europe has banned a fair amount of phthalates in children's toys. Their nature as endocrine disrupters is not really disputed among scientists, as you would like it to appear.

Now, maybe DEHP is not an extreme health risk, but you should be honest about the fact that it is does exhibit hormonal effects.

Note this page to begin with: http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/83/8346specialtychem5.html

There is plenty of other data out there. If you want me do direct you to it, please reply, otherwise, I'll leave the research to you.

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