Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Phthalate Plasticizers and Safety of Toys - Problems and Perspectives

A number of reports published worldwide create awareness on the harms of global usage of phthalates in various products. The concern towards potential exposure of consumers to phthalates through many sources and different routes of administration is increasing day by day. Evidences of phthalates in toys and phthalate metabolites in the urine of children are becoming common. Children under 3 years are more sensitive as compared to general population towards this problem due to their additional intake of plasticizers by chewing toys. Phthalates are found to cause allergy, asthma and affecting kidney, liver and endocrine system, especially at a young age. As phthalates bear the property to soften the hard plastic material, soft toys possess their higher content in comparison to hard toys. Their usage is restricted in EU, United States and Canada and several other countries mainly in toys suspected to be kept in mouth. Phthalates basically included in the banned for toys category are DEHP, DBP, BBP, DNOP, DIDP and DINP. Usage of less than 0.1% phthalates has been allowed for plastic toys and directives are given to producers to label the age of children who may use the toys and specify its hazards. Parents are suggested to control these labels before buying the phthalate plasticizers based products. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Sunflower Oil: Efficient Oil Source for Human Consumption

Oil crops are well distinguished for supplying protein and energy in human diet (Mehran et al. 2011). Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a significant crop possessing 15-21% protein and 50% oil content (Ayeen 1996). It holds second position in the world in edible oil manufacturing following soyabean oil (Nandha et al. 2014) and grouped among preeminent plant oils for human diet due to its nutritional worth (Skoric et al. 2008). Its seeds provide considerable amount of  vitamins, minerals and tocopherols (Skoric 2009) and found to be rich in minerals like magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and manganese (Nandha et al. 2014). Regular sunflower oil contains 69% linoleic acid, 20% oleic acid and 11% saturated fatty acids, but a number of strategies have been adopted to present advance range of sunflower oils with elevated oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid and low saturated acid.