For the first time, because they were required by the State of Maine to report the information, manufacturers of paints and cleaning products available across the country have disclosed their uses of hormone‐disrupting phthalates (THAL‐eights), revealing the use of these chemicals as a fragrance ingredient in these products. “Fragrance” can include dozens of chemicals, and there is no requirement that companies must disclose these ingredients publicly.
Phthalates are tied to reproductive harm, learning disabilities, and asthma and allergies—even at low levels of exposure. Strong science linking phthalates to health hazards has led to stringent restrictions throughout Europe, and several phthalates are prohibited in children's products in the United States.
The report shows that manufacturers disclosed the use of phthalates in vinyl clothing, shoes, and fragranced personal care products, in addition to specific paints and cleaners. Reporting companies included 3M, which revealed phthalates in the fragrances of cleaners, disinfectants, and deodorizers, and the Gap, Inc., which reported phthalates used to soften the plastic tips of shoelaces and drawstrings (Tip: Don't chew on the ends of your hoodie drawstrings!). READ THE REPORT: What Stinks? Toxic Phthalates in Your Home