“Plastics” (To Quote Mr. Maguire in The Graduate)

We’ve come a long way since the early 60’s in many regards, including the abundance of plastic in our lives.  Think about it.  We use plastic constantly …  The morning newspaper is delivered in plastic.  Our cereal box is lined in plastic. The bread we use to make our toast is in plastic.  Often our juice comes in plastic containers, not to mention our milk.  The water/sports drink we grab as we head out the door is in plastic.  Our toothbrush is plastic.  The facial cleaners and shower gel are in plastic containers.  Our vitamin bottles are plastic.  The container we pack our lunch in, or wrap our sandwich in is plastic.  If we go out to lunch and take home some food, it is stored in a plastic container, and that’s just a sample of our exposure in the morning!  The list is endless. The bad news is that all this plastic presents serious biological risks. According to Mercola.com, while we should all be cutting down on our reliance on plastics (with the goal of eliminating them), there are some that are worse than others, and there are ways to identify them. The number printed on the bottom of most plastic containers defines the type of plastic being used, and some are worse than others.  Dr Mercola recommends totally avoiding plastics labeled #7, #3 or #6, and states that those labeled  #1, #2, #4 and #5 are somewhat safer options. I’ve pulled some excerpts from the article here for your information    For the complete article click on this link

#3 is Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

“PVC plastic can be rigid or flexible, and is commonly found in bags for bedding, shrink wrap, deli and meat wrap, plastic toys, table cloths and blister packs used to store medications.

PVC contains toxic chemicals including DEHP, a type of phthalate used as a plastics softener. Phthalates are one of the groups of “gender-bending” chemicals causing males of many species to become more female. These chemicals have disrupted the endocrine systems of wildlife, causing testicular cancer, genital deformations, low sperm counts and infertility in a number of species, including polar bears, deer, whales and otters, just to name a few.

Scientists believe phthalates are responsible for a similar pattern of adverse effects in humans as well. If your home contains soft, flexible plastic flooring, such as vinyl or those padded play-mat floors for kids (often used in day cares and kindergartens, too), there’s a good chance it is also made from toxic PVC. PVC flooring has been linked to chronic diseases including allergies, asthma and autism.”

#6 is Polystyrene (PS) also known as Styrofoam

“Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is used to make cups, plates, bowls, take-out containers, meat trays and more. Polystyrene is known to leach styrene, which can damage your nervous system and is linked to cancer, into your food. Temperature has been found to play a role in how much styrene leaches from polystyrene containers, which means using them for hot foods and beverages (such as hot coffee in a polystyrene cup) may be worst of all.”

#7  Other — This designation describes plastics made from other plastics not identified by a defined category or made from a combination of plastics, most likely BPA or BPS

“BPA and BPS are endocrine disrupters, mimicking or interfering with the body’s hormones affecting, mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes.

Some of the greatest concern surrounds early-life, in utero exposure to bisphenol compounds, which can lead to chromosomal errors in your developing fetus, causing spontaneous miscarriages and genetic damage. But evidence is also very strong showing these chemicals are influencing adults and children, too, and leading to decreased sperm quality, early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles and ovarian dysfunction, cancer and heart disease, among numerous other health problems.

For instance, research has found that “higher BPA exposure is associated with general and central obesity in the general adult population of the United States,” while another study found that BPA is associated not only with generalized and abdominal obesity, but also with insulin resistance, which is an underlying factor in many chronic diseases.” 

I’d love to hear your ideas for cutting out these plastics!

 

Comments

  1. A big step in getting much of the plastics out of your life is to avoid the heavily processed foods. There is so much plastic encasing these foods to keep it safe from the ravages of the world that there is little to keep us safe from not only the chemicals in the food but also the plastic covering it.

  2. There is a phrase that sums up what we all can do to address these issues: “reduce, reuse, recycle”

  3. I agree with Jon. Cutting out processed food helps. I use a lot of mason jars for food storage. They are cute, reusable and aren’t laden with chemicals.

  4. This is some pretty scary information. Theres a new commercial for Glad I think that talks about using just one less trash bag a week and how big of a difference it could make if each family did so. Yesterday being Earth day made me think that people shouldn’t just pay attention to whats going on on our Earth for one day- it was in the spotlight a couple of years ago but its dwindling. Soon we’ll have absolutely no choice but to change to sustainable practices.

  5. In some areas where I live, they have outlawed plastic bags in grocery stores. This is the first step that many big businesses and lawmakers are implementing to help become a greener world. Great article. 🙂

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