Dangers of Plastic

Plastic is all around us, and can be very convenient. Generally though, the easy way isn’t the right way. Despite innocent looking “safety labels”, plastic is completely unnatural and dangerous not only to the environment, but to our health.

ecologycenter.org has an apprehensive article here on the adverse health effects of plastics.

Some of the affects of plastic on humans include: cancer, birth defects, asthma, infertility, genetic changes, chronic bronchitis, ulcers, skin diseases, vision failure, deafness, indigestion, liver dysfunction, vomiting, nausea, weakness, headache and fatigue.

In this interview, Dr. Frederick vom Saal, Curators’ Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said the following about Bisphenol A: 

BPA is actually an oestrogenic drug that, back in the 1930s, was considered for use as a drug. Instead other chemicals ended up being used as oestrogenic drugs. In the 1950s, chemists (who had no background to allow them to understand that this actually was an oestrogen, a sex hormone) without thinking about that used it to make a kind of hard, clear plastic called polycarbonate, and also used it to make resins that line cans. It’s used as composite for tooth sealants and tooth replacement. It has many different uses. It’s used in paints, glues – CDs are made from it – helmets and wind shields. The really big problem is that it’s used as a plastic material that food is put in. It lines cans, and it’s coated on the surface of receipt paper, airline tickets and ATM machine receipts. When you touch those receipts your skin becomes full of BPA. So there are many ways that we are exposed to this chemical: through food, through air, and also through our skin coming into contact with products such as thermal paper.

What do we commonly use that contaminate us with plastic toxins?

Plastic wrap, floor tiles, pacifiers, shower curtains, children’s toys, water pipes, garden hoses, inflatable swimming pools, water bottles, carpet fiber, chewing gum, drinking glasses, food containers and wrappers, heat-sealed plastic packaging, kitchenware, plastic bags, bedding, clothing, disposable diapers, food packaging, tampons, upholstery, non-stick coating on cookware… The list never seems to end.

What can we do about this?

After learning this information, I sat back and looked around at all the plastic in my home. I was upset, to say the least. It felt as though everything had been infiltrated with toxins. I didn’t realize that even synthetic materials, such as polyester, are actually plastic and unsafe. Good golly!

Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the amount of plastic in our lives. Believe it or not, there was a time when people survived without plastic water bottles, disposable diapers, etc. Basically, we need to turn back to the old ways to eliminate the dangers of plastic, and really many other harmful chemicals.

Obviously, it isn’t realistic or economical to throw away all of your plastic items today and go replace them with good quality products right this second. My plan, is to over time replace all plastic items in my home with safer alternatives. Below is a list of some of the many items that are plastic free that I either recommend from personal use OR would like to try out myself.

Have I overlooked any obvious places where plastic can be replaced? Please share below!

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