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Take action. While we can each take steps to reduce our own exposure, it’s important to join with others to call for healthier food packaging for everyone. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is leading the national efforts to remove chemicals of concern from food packaging and other products.
A fresh food diet can significantly reduce levels of the phthalate DEHP after just three days, according to a study conducted by Silent Spring Institute and the Breast Cancer Fund. DEHP, which is found in some plastic food containers and plastic wraps, has been shown to affect male reproductive development, steroid hormone levels, and sperm quality.
During the fresh food diet, participants ate organic meals with no canned food and minimal plastic packaging. They also stored food in glass and stainless steel containers.
With just those few changes, the average levels of DEHP metabolites—chemicals that measure DEHP exposure—in the participants’ urine dropped more than half. Reductions were even more pronounced for the highest exposures, which decreased by more than 90 percent during the diet.
Three of the five phthalates measured in this study, including DEHP, have been banned under REACH, the European Commission’s regulation on chemicals and their safe use, because of concerns about reproductive toxicity.