By Andrea Neal, Ph.D.
For those who don't know me, my name is Dr. Andrea Neal. I have a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Lipid Biochemistry, I'm also a mom, surfer, diver, all around nature lover, and I have dedicated my life to reversing our Toxic Legacy.
When I look at my kids, they grow so fast in front of my eyes. The thing I want for them most is to have all of the things they need to be safe, happy, healthy and to grow up strong to be productive happy adults.
First and foremost I feel that to accomplish this I need to provide a safe caring environment and take care not to expose them to too many things that will impact them negatively. This starts in my home with clean water and safe food resources.
At Hope2o work towards this goal by testing home tap water and soil.
In our latest studies on tap water I have seen a very alarming trend. Almost every water sample, that we have tested, from home tap water shows significant levels of Phthalate contamination (from 50-600 PPB).
I'm not surprised if the word Phthalate sounds like greek to you, but I can tell you it is in the realm of scary stuff for parents.
Phthalates: Are plasticizers used to make plastics hard or soft. Phthalates are used in a large variety of products; plastic water bottles, PVC piping, toys, coatings of pharmaceutical pills, coatings in cans, food packaging, stabilizers, dispersants (like for pesticides and air-fresheners), lubricants, binders, emulsifying agents, suspending agents, etc.
Many of these compounds are very toxic and can impact people in a variety of ways.
These include wide spread endocrine and hormone disruption which can increase the chances of cancer formation, specifically breast cancer. In infants it has been linked to many developmental delay challenges. These compounds have also been linked to asthma, allergies, wheezing, ADHD, maleness, obesity, diabetes and can disrupted insulin production. As my pediatrician can tell you, Phthalates can cause skin rashes and skin irritations in small children.
Exposure to Phthalates not only comes from food and water but from breathing it in and skin contact.
These compounds enter into our water resources in many ways. This includes;
- Phthalates that leach from plastic bottles (when they are exposed to sun or heat)
- Phthalates that leach from plastic piping in your home (as the get older or are exposed to heat)
- Phthalates that leach from food packaging and get into the food you eat.
- Phthalates used in aerosols to help disperse the scents (think about that the next time you spray your bathroom to remove the stink)
- Phthalates used in dispersing pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides
- Phthalates from peoples pee (since we do ingest and breath in a lot of these compounds daily)
The list goes on and on.
If you're a mom like me, I'm sure your head is spinning at this point. I don't mean to scare anyone. If I thought this was not a solvable problem, I would not even bring it up. However it is solvable.
The overall message is that we have become very reliant on these very toxic compounds. They do impact ours health, as well as our families and our children. We should take steps to limit our use of these products.
With the testing that we have seen in our Hope2o studies I think the first step is just to look under your sink and see if you have plastic or PVC piping. If so, you may want to consider replacing it frequently or switching back to metal pipes. Other super simple steps. Take care when using air fresheners, eat more "food" and less packaged meals, find other ways to deal with home pests than toxic sprays.
Our children rely on us to reduce our toxic legacy. It does not mean we have to completely change how we live our lives, but little things do make a huge difference!
Lots of Love To Everyone
Andrea Neal, PhD
The Water Doctor