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The Impact of DEHP on the Human Body Cannot Be Ignored!

The outbreak of the food DEHP scandal in Taiwan in 2011 was due the detection of DEHP in some food available on the market. Subsequent investigation discovered that part of the upstream raw materials suppliers used cheap industrial plasticizer to replace the clouding agent, a kind of commonly used legal food additive, to save cost. In response to the year-end domestic cleaning before the Chinese New Year, the Consumer Protection Committee of the Executive Yuan announced the inspection results of household plastic gloves, where 7 out of 19 samples contain excessive amount of DEHP, which drew public attention again.
Dr. Wu Xin-jie, a physician in the Division of Family Medicine in Ren’ai Branch of Taipei City Hospital, points out that DEHP widely exists in our living environment and is commonly seen in plastic products, fixing agent, drug coating, capsules and suspension liquid. DEHP is a kind of environmental hormone, whose role is similar to female hormones. Long-term exposure to excessive DEHP may probably increase the risk of breast cancer and endometrial cancer, or cause sexual precocity of female children and earlier breast development. The higher concentration of DEHP metabolites in the urine of pregnant women suggests higher risk of boy babies they deliver suffering from congenital genital malformation.
Taipei City Hospital reminds the public that the best method to decrease the harm of DEHP on the human body is the reduction of exposure to it. This means using fewer plastic products, avoiding the use of plastic wrap when heating foods with microwave oven, and eating less poultry skin or internal organs, to prevent the excessive intake of DEHP or other environmental hormones accumulated via the food chain. Moreover, pregnant women and babies are the high-risk populations of DEHP, and greater attention shall be paid to avoiding exposure to any DEHP. They shall avoid makeup, skin care products or personal cleaning products with fragrance; children shall wash hands with soap after playing with toys before eating food.