Phthalate and symptoms of ADHD

Phthalate and symptoms of ADHD

Phthalates found in baby toys have been linked to ADHD

Several studies have found a strong positive association between phthalate and symptoms of ADHD among school-age children.  A recently published review of article linking phthalates to health problems has found that there is strong and convincing evidence that phthalates have an adverse impact on children's brain development reflected by quality of alertness among girls and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Phthalates are hard to avoid.  Phthalates can be found in cosmetics, packaging, plastic toys, pesticides and housedust. In 2005 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that most people in the Unites States have measurable amounts of pthalates in their body and 84 percent of Americans have at least six different phthalates in their urine.

Though it is hard to avoid exposure to Phthalates, there are ways to limit your exposure and the exposure of your children to Phthalates.  Environmental health experts recommend a regular household cleaning schedule to avoid the accumulations of house dust as well as a few other measures that include:

Look for Phthalate free labels to avoid ADHD toxin

  • Eating less processed food as fatty processed food is a major source of phthalate exposure, and the packaging of these foods can increase concentrations of phthalates in processed foods.
  • Click here to find out more!Insuring that your house has adequate ventilation as studies show that indoor air has more phthalates than outdoor are
  •  Avoid purchasing construction and furniture materials that are high in phthalates such as imitation leather and vinyl tiles.
  •  Look for products and toys that are labeled as phthalate free.
  •  Read labels when purchasing cosmetics and personal care items such as hair spray and deodorants and avoid products that list phthalates on the label.

An increased urinary level of phthalates has been linked with symptoms of Inattentive ADD in girls and high exposures to phthalates and ADHD symptoms are also closely linked.  Several European countries have moved to ban the use of phthalates in products but in the Unites States Phthalates can be found in many products.  Limiting exposure to these products is essential for all families but it is especially important for families suffering from the symptoms of ADHD as well as the symptoms of Inattentive ADHD.

International Journal for Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health. 2011 Jun;24(2):115-41. Epub 2011 May 19.
Exposure to phthalates: Reproductive outcome and children health. A review of epidemiological studies.
Jurewicz J, Hanke W.

Biological Psychiatry. 2009 Nov 15;66(10):958-63. Epub 2009 Sep 12.
Phthalates exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in school-age children.
Kim BN, Cho SC, Kim Y, Shin MS, Yoo HJ, Kim JW, Yang YH, Kim HW, Bhang SY, Hong YC.


  1. Wow, I had heard some negative things about Phthlalates before, but I honestly had no idea about their link to ADD and ADHD. That's terrible news - Phthlalates are everywhere! Hopefully the US will regulate them a other countries have, so that future generations will not have to deal with such high levels of risk.

  2. I wonder why they haven't made the ban already? The US is usually pretty proactive in issues like this, or at least that's my impression.


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