Daily exposure to phthalates, a group of chemicals used in everything from plastic containers to makeup, may lead to approximately 100,000 deaths in older Americans annually, a study from New York University warned Tuesday. The chemicals, which can be found in hundreds of products such as toys, clothing and shampoo, have been known for decades to be “hormone disruptors,” affecting a person’s endocrine system. The toxins can enter the body through such items and are linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, said the study published in the journal Environmental Pollution. The research, which was carried out by New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and includes some 5,000 adults aged 55 to 64, shows that those with higher concentrations of phthalates in their urine were more likely to die of heart disease. The study added that the economic loss due to phthalates is between $40 billion and $47 billion—more than four times what was previously estimated.
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