A new study has found that phthalates, a group of chemicals already banned from use in children’s toys because they are known to alter male hormones like testosterone, have been found prevalent in popular box mac and cheese products.
Since about two million boxes of mac and cheese are sold in the United States everyday, Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, one of four advocacy groups that funded the study, told The New York Times that it is hard for American households to avoid phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates).<!–more–>
What are phthalates and how are they used?
Phthalates (pronounced “thah-lates”) are chemical plasticizers that have been widely used since the 1950s to soften plastics that would otherwise be brittle and crack when bent. Because phthalates are not chemically bound to the plastics they’re added to, they’re continuously released into the air or food or liquid. Did you ever notice how plastic sometimes hardens over time? That’s because the phthalates have leached out of it.<!–more–>