There are many dangers involved with bisphenol A and phthalates, two additives commonly used in plastic. BPA makes plastic hard and phthalates make plastic soft. BPA and phthalates are two plastic additives that are known endocrine disruptors. Both are known endocrine disruptors. We all come into contact with these toxic chemicals through our food, personal care products and plastic containers.

BPA has the characteristics of estrogen, a hormone that determines sexual traits and is key in the development of brain function and nerve cells. Recent studies have linked BPA to breast and prostate cancer, enlargement of the prostate, early onset of puberty, hyperactivity in children, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Phthalates are not only used to soften plastic, but are also one of the oily substances used in cosmetics, perfumes, and many beauty products. Phthalates are labeled on common household products as "fragrance." That new-car smell or new-shower curtain smell is the pungent odor of the release of phthalates into the air. Studies have found low levels of phthalates to cause infertility, lower sperm count and smaller penis size.

Biologists studying BPA and phthalates are in agreement over the harmful effects of both chemicals. These chemicals are now proven to be toxic, endocrine-disrupting, hormone level-changing, and disease-causing. Do your best to avoid them by reading labels, using reusable containers and bottles, and seeking out BPA and phthalate-free products.

TEDX is a non-profit organization dedicated to compiling and disseminating scientific evidence on the health and environmental problems caused by low dose exposure to chemicals that interfere with development and function.

The Skin Deep database provides safety ratings for nearly a quarter of all products on the world market more than 55,000 products with more than 9,000 ingredients.

Use this list to find phthalate-free cosmetic companies.

Learn more about BPA and phthalates.