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Plastics and Your Health

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

There are big concerns about plastics and your health mainly due to the presence of certain chemicals and their ability to leach into food. Here are my major concerns:

1. Plastics can contain many different chemicals, such as plasticizers, stabilizers, and dyes. These chemicals have the ability to leach into foods, especially when plastics are exposed to heat, acidic foods or fats, and over time. Some of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors, which means they can interfere with the hormonal balance in the body and lead to health problems. 2. Bisphenol or: BPA is a well-known chemical used in the manufacture of a number of plastics, including polycarbonate and epoxy resins. It has been linked to hormonal disruptions, fertility problems, and other health problems. Many countries have banned or regulated the use of BPA in baby bottles and some food containers, but it can still be found in other types of plastic packaging. 3. Phthalates are plasticizers used to make plastics more flexible and durable. They can migrate from plastic containers to food, especially fatty foods like meat and dairy. Some phthalates have been linked to adverse effects on reproductive health and development. 4. Microplastics are small plastic particles that can result from the breakdown of larger plastics or are intentionally added to some products. These seeds have been found in many foods and beverages, and there are concerns about their potential impact on human health if ingested. The long-term health consequences of consuming microplastics are still being studied. 5. Plastics contribute to environmental pollution and disruption of ecosystems. Plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose, accumulating plastic waste in the environment. As plastics decompose, they can release toxic chemicals into the soil and water, potentially affecting the food chain. 6. Plastics can attract and accumulate other environmental contaminants, such as heavy metals and other organic pollutants. When plastics come into contact with these pollutants, they can transfer them to the food stored inside, posing a risk to human health. What you can do starting today: To reduce the potential dangers of plastic in food, here are some steps you can take:-

a. Choose food packaging labeled BPA-free or phthalate-free whenever possible.

b. Avoid using any plastic containers in the microwave, as heat can cause chemicals to leach into food. Instead, switch food to microwave-safe ceramic or glass containers. c. Become familiar with the plastic packaging recycling code. Plastics labeled with recycling codes 3 (contains phthalates) and 7 (may contain BPA)! d. Use only glass, stainless steel, or other non-plastic containers to store and transport foods and beverages. e. Cut out the overall use of single-use plastics to help reduce plastic pollution. Research into the effects of plastics in food is ongoing and while there are major concerns about potential risks, the best plan is to avoid them in food purchasing, preparation, and use as much as possible!

Dr. John Hayes Jr in Marshfield Talks about Dangers of Plastics and Your Health
Dr. John Hayes Jr in Marshfield Talks about Dangers of Plastics and Your Health

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