Common household chemicals linked to chronic disease in men, study finds

ADELAIDE, Australia — Are common products inside our homes potentially the cause of serious health conditions? New research indicates that everyday chemicals are linked to chronic diseases in men.

A team of researchers from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian and Medical Research Institute carried out the research focusing on phthalates, which are common chemicals that most of us come into contact with daily.

A new study finds that chemicals found in common household products are linked to a greater risk of chronic conditions in men.

Phthalates are often found in a variety of consumer goods including children’s toys, food packaging and medications. (This PDF from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences explains how to determine if products contain phthalates.)

In December 2013, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment officially listed diisononyl phthalate, a commonly used phthalate, as a chemical “known to the state of California to cause cancer.” Later, in April 2016, a “No Significant Risk Level” was established at 146ug per day for the same phthalate.

The researchers performed observations on 1,500 men from South Australia. The team found phthalates levels were detected in the urine of more than 99% of those 35 years or older. The lead author of the study, Zumin Shi, specified that high phthalate levels correlated with a likeliness of suffering from some the most prominent chronic diseases in the United States.

“We found that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure increased among those men with higher phthalate levels,” says Shi, an associate professor at the Adelaide Medical School and the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health, in a university press release.

“Importantly, while 82% of the men we tested were overweight or obese – conditions known to be associated with chronic diseases – when we adjusted for this in our study, the significant association between high levels of phthalates and disease was not substantially altered,” adds Shi.

Previous research found that men who frequently ate processed foods, drank sodas, and consumed fewer fruits and vegetables showed higher levels phthalates.

In the current study, levels remained the same even when socio-economic status and healthy habits were taken into consideration.

Shi suggested that although the studies were performed on men, it is likely that similar results would appear in studies with women.

“While further research is required, reducing environmental phthalates exposure where possible, along with the adoption of healthier lifestyles, may help to reduce the risk of chronic disease,” he adds.

The findings were published in the October 2017 edition of the journal Environmental Research.


  1. So 1800 obese Aussie males with poor nutritional habits filled out a questionnaire and submitted a pee sample. Additionally 99% 35 and older show phthalate – just an irrelevant side note. It’s obvious: arsenic from rice, mercury from seafood and methyl bromide from fruit and veggie pesticide. These are the culprits behind cardio, metabolic and hypertensive diseases. Whose the knucklehead who assumed a couple micrograms phthalate was the causative factor?

  2. Give me enough federal and state grant money and I will prove there are people living on the sun.

  3. We need to ban salt….for god sakes people…it’s made from two very deadly ingredients. It’s time our government takes control of these dangerous products that nature makes.

    1. Phthalates are plastics…we’ve known for decades that they cause numerous health issues. This is not the first study to have these kind of results.

      1. There any many things dangerous both man made and by nature. If it worries you fine don’t use it then.

        1. I avoid them. Not sure why it triggers you so much to educate people on the matter. Plastics disrupt the endocrine system. How healthy are you, Will?

          1. I’m very fine thank you heart beats like a 17 year old…my biggest worry in life was not smoking or what I ate it was bullets they shot at me in vietnam .

          2. So because I don’t believe in all the bs studies or even care I’m a bad person and have no integrity. There are more important things in life to worry about than what’s in a cleaning product or plastics.

          3. I’m neither a moron nor a modern liberal. You could consider me a classical liberal, I suppose.

            You’re simply not a smart man. It’s fine, if you weren’t trying to valor steal and actually were in Vietnam, then you were exposed to a plethora of chemicals that destroy your health; including brain function. No one should have been forced into being exposed to those.

  4. A few years ago the US Government released a landmark study on vitamin use in the US. The study resurfaces every few months in headline news. The study was a very expensive 20 year longitudinal study which concluded that US citizens spend billions of dollars on worthless vitamins. Urged people to stop taking them. As researchers, we analysed the study design and presented it in an academic medical grand rounds. The study was 100% worthless and could not draw any conclusions based on the design. So why would the US spend all that money doing a 20 year study that could draw no valid conclusions? The obvious reason is they have a vested interest in getting people to stop taking vitamins. Perhaps people are living too long which costs the government.

  5. ” “Importantly, while 82% of the men we tested were overweight or obese – conditions known to be associated with chronic diseases – when we adjusted for this in our study, the significant association between high levels of phthalates and disease was not substantially altered,” adds Shi. ”

    In other words, ‘when we applied our wild ass guess to support the conclusion we wanted we found it really, really WAS the stupid thingies that no one knows how to spell so we made up a dumb spelling just for that’

    1. Look up the effects of phthalates and other plastics on the endocrine system. There’s a plethora of data on it. Start with polytetrafluoroethylene.

      1. No need, you probably worry enough for both of us. By the way, where’s my pink slime, I liked that stuff. I saw they were winning their lawsuit against the “journalists” that started that story.

  6. Phthalates are used in plastics in minute quantities to make the plastic less brittle. Articles like this one are click bait.

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