If your libido isn’t what it used to be, you may be able to blame it on modern life … or at least on chemicals called phthalates used in plastics. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible, transparent, and durable. They’re in everyday items such as bottles, vinyl flooring, adhesives, car dashboards, and personal care products, such as soaps, shampoos, and hair sprays. That intoxicating “new car” smell is caused mostly by phthalates vaporizing.
Phthalates are widely known to be endocrine disruptors, chemicals which interfere with the endocrine or hormonal system. Serious questions as to their safety have been raised. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies a type of phthalates called DEHP as a possible carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program lists another form called DIP as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Most of the problems showing up in recent studies, however, emphasize the effects of phthalates on the reproductive system.
A study from the University of Rochester School of Medicine studied the levels of phthalates in the urine of pregnant women, and asked them how often they had no interest in sex in the months before they become pregnant. Women who had the highest levels of phthalates were much more likely to report a lack of interest in sex — about 250 percent — than those who had the least amounts of the chemical in their bodies. Experts believe phthalates lower libido because they interfere with the manufacture of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Full Story