Common consumer products that are made with synthetic chemicals known as phthalates may contribute to the premature deaths of thousands of people aged 55 to 64 each year, according to a new study.

The study, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution, found a link between products, such as food storage containers, shampoo, makeup, perfume, and even children’s toys, that were made with phthalates, and 91,000 to 107,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year within this age group.

It was estimated that those deaths cost the U.S. up to about $47 billion each year in lost economic productivity.

According to the study, people that had high levels of phthalates had a higher risk of death from any cause but especially heart disease.

Previous studies have linked phthalates with reproductive issues, child obesity, asthma, cardiovascular problems, and cancer, CNN reported.

"These chemicals have a rap sheet,” lead author of the study Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and population health at New York University Langone Health, told CNN.

"And the fact of the matter is that when you look at the entire body of evidence, it provides a haunting pattern of concern,” he added.

For the study, researchers measure the urine concentration in more than 5,000 study participants aged 55 to 64, comparing those levels to the risk of early death over an average of a 10-year period using a control for pre-existing conditions, according to CNN.

Trasande told the news outlet he recommends avoiding plastics and never putting plastic containers in the microwave or dishwasher "where the heat can break down the linings so they might be absorbed more readily." In addition, he said, "cooking at home and reducing your use of processed foods can reduce the levels of the chemical exposures you come in contact with."

However, the American Chemistry Council Senior Director of Chemical Products and Technology Eileen Conneely told CNN in a statement that “much of the content within Trasande et al's latest study is demonstrably inaccurate.”

"Studies such as these fail to consider all phthalates individually and consistently ignore or downplay the existence of science-based, authoritative conclusions regarding the safety of high molecular weight phthalates,” Conneely said.

But Trasande maintained that, “I'm never going to tell you this is a definitive study. It is a snapshot in time and can only show an association.”

makeup-brush-1761648_960_720 Photo: Pixabay