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Plastics and Health

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A publication came out in 2020 by the Endocrine Society titled: Plastics, EDCs and Health: A Guide for Public Interest Organizations and Policy-Makers on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Plastics.

Here are some key points about plastics and health:
A large number of potentially harmful chemicals are used in the production of plastics. There are at least 144 chemicals used in plastics known to be harmful to human health. These chemicals can leach into our food, water and environment. You can be exposed to them from the water bottle you drink from or the fish that you eat. You can also breath them in from the products used in your home. They can be absorbed through your skin from cosmetics.

Many of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors and research has linked them to neurologic and behavior disorders, metabolic dysfunction, reproductive issues and hormone sensitive cancers. These effects can even be seen at low doses so that there is no safe dose.
Here are just a few of these chemicals:
Bisphenols – BPA (labeled with#7) – often in microwavable plastics, utensils and metal food can linings. Also on thermal sensitive paper on receipts.
Brominated Flame Retardants – use to make products less flammable. Commonly used in Styrofoam, epoxy resins used in electronics, furniture and insulation and building materials. We breath it in from the dust in our homes.
Phthalates – help make plastic flexible and used in plastic wrap, food containers, soap and cosmetics. Exposure comes from food packaging and cosmetics.

Best to avoid plastics and reduce your exposure to these chemicals. Here’s a few ways to do this:
Replace plastic food containers with ceramic and glass.
Use waxed paper or beeswax coated wraps instead of plastic wrap.
Avoid plastics with the following numbers on the bottom #3#6#7.
If you must use plastic the following numbers are likely safer #1#2#4. Never reuse #5 plastics.
Decline receipts at the store.

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