Phthalate “Safe” Alternative Is Also An Endocrine Disruptor


Phthalates and other plasticizers are used in food packaging to make hard plastics soft and pliable.

Recall my recent post, BPA-Free Label May Be Meaningless. Well, it’s not looking good for phthalate-free labels either. BPA and phalates are endocrine disruptors. Turns out their “safe” replacements are also.

A new study out of McGill University…

Cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylic acid diisononyl ester and metabolite effects on rat epididymal stromal vascular fraction differentiation of adipose tissue, Environmental Research, July 2015

Is Phthalate Alternative Really Safe?, McGill University Press Release, 17 June 2015

… tested a commonly used phthalate alternative, DINCH, on rat tissue, and:


Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos , lead author and Professor of Medicine at McGill University.

“This is the first study to show a biological disruptive effect of the plasticizer DINCH and its metabolites on the metabolism in mammals,” states study lead author, Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos.

The action of DINCH was found to be particularly similar to a type of phthalate known as DEHP, a group of chemicals whose use in Canada and the US was restricted to small amounts in all children’s products 2011, at the same time as the EU began phasing out their use.

“We were surprised by these findings since DINCH was supposed to be a trusted plasticizer devoid of phthalate effects,” says Dr. Papadopoulos. “The fact that MINCH can affect metabolism, which is a major regulator system of our body, is concerning.”

An endocrine disruptor can cause you to put on fat when you’re not overeating. It can give you high blood glucose readings and increase your risk for diabetes. It can make it difficult to conceive. It can do this because it disrupts the action of naturally-occurring hormones.

Look at this:

DINCH has been promoted by industry has as a safe alternative to phthalate plasticizers, despite there being no publicly available peer-reviewed data on its toxicology.

We have been taking the word of the manufacturers of these chemicals that they have passed safety tests with flying colors. But when an independent researcher does the tests, the colors do not fly.

2 thoughts on “Phthalate “Safe” Alternative Is Also An Endocrine Disruptor

  1. Bix Post author

    It’s unfortunate that I used a photo of a pear wrapped in plastic to represent our phthalate exposure. In one way it’s accurate, that’s where that one chemical can be found. In another way it’s really off the mark because people will think if they avoid food wrapped in plastic (or canned foods or plastic containers, etc.) they will avoid endocrine disrupters. That’s not true. Endocrine disrupters (many of which are POPs/Persistent Organic Pollutants) are inside the food and are in some foods more than others:

    Dietary practices influence exposure to pesticides, metals, persistent organic pollutants, and industrial pollutants through consumption patterns, food packaging, and preparation methods. A diet high in fish and animal products, for example, results in greater exposure to persistent organic compounds and metals than does a plant-based diet because these compounds bioaccumulate up the food chain.
    Cancer And Non-Cancer Health Effects From Food Contaminant Exposures For Children And Adults In California: A Risk Assessment, Environmental Health, November 2012

    The thing about endocrine disrupters is that you don’t need much to cause harm.

    [Endocrine disrupters] exhibit high potency in very small amounts and are capable of disrupting reproductive, developmental, and other hormonally mediated physiological functions
    – ibid.


  2. Bix Post author

    A Paleo diet or a low-carb diet or an Atkins diet or any diet rich in animal food poses a unique health risk owing to the pollutants dissolved in the animal fat and tissue. The animal food that humans ate thousands of years ago, even just 50 years ago, is quite unlike the animal food of today.



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