Banned plasticizers discovered in urine: What does this mean for our drinking water?

“Something must have gone terribly wrong.” This is how Holger Koch, head of the laboratory at the Bochum Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Statutory Accident Insurance, is currently quoted in the media.

No one likes to read sentences like that, especially when it concerns their own health.

However, we urgently need to address this issue today.

It's about banned plasticizers that were discovered in children's urine and what significance this could have for our drinking water.

What is particularly worrying in this case is that it is still not clear how the particularly dangerous substance made it into the human body.

What happened?

In a kindergarten in North Rhine-Westphalia, plasticizers were found in children's urine during a routine examination. This is the substance mono-n-hexyl phthalate, MnHexP for short.

This is considered a particularly harmful variant within the phthalate substance group, which is already classified as problematic.

MnHexP belongs to the so-called Endocrine disruptors, also substances that severely disrupt our hormonal balance. This is particularly dangerous for children and unborn children. In adults, MnHexP can cause infertility.

It is still unclear how the banned substance was able to get into the human body. This substance has not been tested for a long time because its use is strictly prohibited. It has also been banned across the EU since 2023.

This is also a coincidental finding.

Particularly worrying: The products responsible for this must have been in circulation since at least 2015, because due to this accidental discovery, older urine samples were now examined and tested positive.

In the meantime, the Federal Environment Agency has also published preliminary data from a study that shows environmental toxins in adults. “The banned substance was detected in around 37 percent of the urine samples examined so far,” said Koch (source: Tagesspiegel, February 9, 2024).

What or who is suspected?

The investigations are still ongoing (as of February 9, 2024). We will attach the results here as an update to this article as soon as they are available.


However, it is currently likely that a European producer has been putting the chemicals into circulation undetected - and unfortunately has apparently been doing so for years.


Cosmetics, especially sunscreens, are currently suspected. The employees of the Federal Environment Agency therefore question all study participants about their skills and habits in order to identify similarities that provide information about the products used.


However, the institute does not want to advise against sunscreen completely, as sunscreen also has a protective effect on our skin.


A real dilemma!

Why is this case just one of many?

In our modern world, a lot of things are based on chemical products. They are often real everyday helpers, be it with cleaning products or high-tech composites in our clothing, our devices, medicines, buildings and much more.

However, all this progress also comes at a price. Because none of these materials are made to last forever. Everything has an expiration date. And unfortunately, not everything is completely biodegradable as it decomposes.

And this incident proves how sensitive each of us has to be when it comes to our health. This required personal responsibility and vigilance.

In this case it is plasticizers, in the next case it is chlorine and rust and in still other cases we are talking about epoxy resin.

Our mission – clean drinking water in every household!

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What does water have to do with plasticizers and other substances?

So far, traces of MnHexP have only been detected in urine. After going to the toilet, these traces of substances end up in the wastewater and have to be filtered by the local water supplier.

In addition to plasticizers, countless other drug residues and traces of substances need to be removed from the water (see also our article on medication residues in  Water) .

This doesn't just affect our wastewater. Due to the numerous inputs of agricultural medicines and microplastic residues, our way of life is also increasingly polluting our waters. Our groundwater comes from these same sources.

On the way from the waterworks to our taps, our drinking water also passes through kilometers of pipes. There, too, contact with deposits and materials is a source of accumulation of substances in the water that we do not want in our bodies.

We can only influence all of this permanently through a conscious lifestyle. It takes a fair amount of trust when we turn on the tap at home to drink water.

But there is also good news:

It is up to us to further improve our water at home.

We'll show you how!

Easily filter water at home

Through transparency, continuous use of water filters and education, we can contribute to improving water quality and our health.

That is our goal!

We warmly recommend our water filters to anyone who wants to further improve the water quality in their household or company and control it themselves.

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Let's work together to ensure pure water and a healthy future!

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