From day one here at Storied Scents we’ve been dedicated to using the cleanest, greenest, and safest ingredients we have available to us, from manufacturers that we personally trust. Aside from the ‘green-ness’ of our ingredients, one of the most important aspects of our products to us was phthalates. Or rather, the lack of them. If you look around our website long enough, or look at the thank you cards we send out with each order, you’ll find that word quite a bit! But many people have no idea what phthalates are and why they’re such a big deal to us in the candle industry. As you can read on our About Us page:
“Phthalates are esters of Phthalic acid which are easily used to dissolve ingredients or 'hold' scents when creating fragrance oils.”
Various types of phthalates (pronounced: tha-layt) are found in tons of products, not just in candles! They’re used in perfumes, shampoos, body wash, deodorants, and a plethora of products that are made of cheap, flexible plastics like PVC. But they could be particularly dangerous in products like ours due to the method and risks of ingestion.
The reason for this blog post is that several more recent studies have come out showing further likely dangers of phthalate use in products. These dangers include breast cancer, developmental issues in children, decreased fertility, and asthma. The most recent study that came to our attention was reported in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). The peer reviewed article (which can be found here) identified phthalates as neurotoxic chemicals that increase prenatal and developing children’s risks for learning, attention, and behavioral disorders. In the article, the scientists who authored it call for government and corporate action to entirely eliminate the use of certain phthalates in order to protect children’s brain development. Another recent study has provided backing to the one posted in the AJPH. Reported in the journal of Neurotoxicology, the study was performed as a part of the Illinois Kids Development Study, which is designed to track the effects of hormone disrupting chemicals on children’s development from birth through adolescence. Similarly to the article in the AJPH, they have discovered links between phthalates and developmental changes.
In European countries, phthalates are undergoing a rolling process of being banned throughout 2019-2021 but so far in the United States, Maine is one of the only states to introduce any sort of additional restrictions on the use of Phthalates, but they are everywhere. Luckily, phthalate ingestion can often be avoided! Avoid heating food in cheap tupperware or other cheap plastics, avoid repeatedly drinking from plastic cups and bottles, use phthalate free fragranced products (like ours!), and even simply washing your children’s hands after playing with plastic toys has been shown to reduce the amount of phthalates in the body!