Time to clear the plastic out of your home. Even BPA-free plastics, which we thought were safe, have now been found to have hormone-mimicking properties.
BPA, a component of most plastics, was removed from many bottles, toys, and cans when The Department of Health and Human Services started to question its safety. Thought we’d won the battle? Think again.
Some of the chemicals still used in some plastic have even higher estrogen-like activity than BPA. CertiChem testing company founder George Bittner found that more than 70 percent of the products tested released chemicals that acted like estrogen. When products were heated or used in the dishwasher, the number jumped to ninety-five percent! Some however, had none showing it is possible to make plastic products without many of these chemicals that can harm our health. Unfortunately, the testing didn’t show which chemicals were to blame so further testing is needed.
Potential health risks associated with plastic
- Disruption of endocrine system, which can lead to cancers, immune system suppression, and birth defects
- Sexual health problems in men
- Reproductive problems
- Early onset of puberty
- Skin diseases, liver dysfunction, deafness, vision failure, ulcers and chronic bronchitis
Ways to reduce health risks of plastic
- Do not heat or re-heat food or drinks in plastic containers.
- Choose glass or stainless steel drinking bottles.
- Choose glass baby bottles and limit plastic toys for children.
- Store food in glass containers.
- Use a Planet Box lunch pail instead of plastic bags when possible.
Until the day comes when non-toxic plastic is the norm, try to reduce cumulative exposure wherever and whenever you can. In Santa Cruz, local stores like GreenSpace, EcoGoods, and all local health food stores are but a few of the businesses providing healthier options to use at home.