The words "safe" and "plastic" never really mixed in parents' eyes. But there was a prevailing belief that some plastics were safer than others. A new study finds that chemicals found in commonly used products like plastic wrap cause high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and other health issues in children and teens. Although the two chemicals — diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) — were supposed to replace another chemical (a phthalate called DEHP) that was found to have detrimental effects on people's health, the new ones are considered just as unsafe.
In the study, researchers looked at 1,329 children and teens ages 8 to 19 and measured their blood pressure and levels of DINP and DIDP in their urine. Researchers found that an increase in these two chemicals led the children's blood pressure to be one point higher.
"Our research adds to growing concerns that environmental chemicals might be independent contributors to insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure and other metabolic disorders," said one of the study authors, Dr. Leonardo Trasande. The two chemicals — also found in soaps, food containers, and cosmetics — can also cause insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Although we're surrounded by plastics every day, it might be time to swap out your kid's tupperware for glass versions!