The presence of chemical compounds, called phthalates, in plastics, and found in foods and everyday objects (food, clothing, cosmetics, toys, etc.), could cause the premature death of 100,000 Americans each year. 55 to 64 years old, according to a study released on Tuesday, October 12.
These phthalates are considered to be endocrine disruptors harmful to health, but the direct link between exposure to these products and deaths from cardiovascular disease or cancer in the United States has not yet been established with certainty. says the study by the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University, published in the journal Environmental Pollution.
Researchers analyzed the effects of phthalate exposure on a population of 5,303 adults over 20 years of age. The study and the biological (especially urine) analyzes of the participants took place between 2001 and 2010, before the mortality statistics were analyzed until the end of 2015. The data analyzes were extracted in July 2020 .
In “Extrapolating [les résultats] in the age group of the US population 55 to 64, we identified 90,761 to 107,283 attributable deaths ” to phthalate exposure, the study explains.
“Our findings show that greater phthalate exposure is linked to premature death, especially heart disease”, said one of the authors, Leonardo Trasande, quoted in a press release.
“Until now, we have known that chemicals cause cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death. But we had not yet directly linked these chemicals to mortality ”, added the scientist from New York University, who signed this work with two colleagues from the University of Iowa, Buyun Liu and Wei Bao.
The researchers also calculated the economic cost of these premature deaths for the United States, in terms of lost productivity: “From 39.9 to 47.1 billion dollars per year” (34.5 to 40.8 billion euros), according to them. “Other studies will have to corroborate these observations and identify the mechanisms [à l’œuvre], but the regulatory authorities must act urgently “, argues the study of the University of New York.