Health & Medicine

Drs. Oz and Roizen: Beware of plastic chemical replacements

In “The Replacements,” the 2000 romantic football comedy that spoofs the real 1987 NFL strike, Keanu Reeves crosses the picket line, saves the day and finds true love. But in real life, replacements might not lead to such happy endings.

True, when it became clear that the DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate) used in making plastic wrap, soap, cosmetics and processed food containers was a dangerous hormone disruptor that could wreak havoc on your and your child’s health and development, U.S. industry phased it out. (It’s been banned in Europe since 2004.)

But now researchers at New York University have bad news for us: The allegedly safer replacements DINP (diisononyl phthalate) and DIDP (diisodecyl phthalate) also are phthalates, and they duplicate DEHP’s adverse health effects on both children and adults. (This reminds us of those new BPA-free products that are now made with BPA’s close cousin BPS, also a hormone disrupter.)

How can you keep your child’s (and your) good health from being fumbled away by these phthalates? The researchers say you can significantly reduce body levels of these disruptive chemicals if you use wax paper, glass containers and aluminum wrap in place of plastics for food and drink. Skip canned foods; opt for fresh — not in plastic. If you do use plastic, wash food containers by hand; dishwasher soaps can make plastics more likely to leach their chemicals into your food. And never use plastics marked with 3, 6 or 7 in the recycle triangle for food or personal grooming products.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit