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Taipei City Hospital


Never Ignore the Influence of Plasticizer on Human Bodies

The discovery of plasticizer misuse in Taiwan in 2011 began by the detection of plasticizer in some food on the market. The investigation found that some upstream raw material suppliers added cheap industrial plasticizer in the clouding agent, which is a kind of common, legal food additive, to save on cost. Because of the approach of the year-end cleanup, the Consumer Protection Committee, Executive Yuan recently announced test results of household plastic gloves: 7 out of 19 samples contain excessive plasticizer, which has got people’s attention once again.

Wu Xin-jie, physician of Family Medicine in Ren’ai Branch of Taipei City Hospital, points out that plasticizer is widespread in the environment and most common in plastic products, perfume fixative, drug coating, capsules and suspensions. As a kind of environmental hormone, it is similar to estrogen and long-term and massive exposure may increase the risk of breast cancer, endometrial carcinoma, and so on, or cause sexual precocity and early breast development of girls. The higher the concentration of plasticizer metabolites in the urine of pregnant women, the higher risk for male newborns to suffer from congenital anomaly of the genital organs!

Taipei City Hospital reminds the public that the best way to decrease the harm of plasticizer on the human body is to reduce exposure. Therefore, citizens are advised to use fewer plastic products, avoid using plastic wraps when heating food in a microwave and not to eat the skin or viscera of poultry, so as to prevent the excessive intake of plasticizer or other environmental hormones accumulated through the food chain. Besides, pregnant women and children are among the high-risk population, who shall avoid using cosmetics or scented skin care products and personal cleaning products. After playing with toys, children shall wash hands with soap before eating.