Phthalates in pills? What’s next?

By Kristie Turck •  Published 07/23/09 •  2 min read

Just when you think you’ve got it covered in terms of avoiding phthalates, you find out there’s something else to worry about (seriously, is there anything that doesn’t have phthalates or BPA?).

An article via the Daily Green reports of a new study that found over the counter tablets contain enough phthalates to increase your level 100 times over, before it’s quickly metabolized by the body:

The protective layer that coats the outside of drug capsules contains enough of a phthalate to drive levels in those taking the drugs above the daily intake limits designated by food regulatory agencies in Europe.

While the phthalate and its breakdown products leave the body within one to three days, longterm use could keep their levels elevated and raise the risk of health effects associated with the endocrine disruptors. Taking phthalates out of medicines would limit exposure, say the study’s authors.

First of all, one to three days is not exactly what I would call “quickly” in my book.  Three days is a mini-vacation (which naturally seems to fly by, but we’re talking about toxic chemicals here).   Like the article states, long term exposure is what could lead to problems.
Why do we even need a plastic coating on pills?
EDIT: It’s important to note that many vitamins and and gel style pills are coated or encased with a gelatin based product if anything at all.  However if you are not sure about a particular brand of vitamin or medication you are taking, call the number of the manufacturer and ask.  It can’t hurt for a little peace of mind.