As research continues to show, plastics are not our friend for the most part. They harm the earth, can cause harm to humans and in general, can be replaced with more eco-friendly and safer options.
Still, we are also now finding that many of the ‘alternatives’ are not necessarily any better for us, and in fact, some research finds eco-friendly options like plant-based plastics more dangerous than we thought initially. When it comes to utensils and products in our homes and our lives, we need to take a good look at all that goes into making them.
Plastic Pollution Is A Serious Problem
Just in its general production, plastic releases dangerous phthalates, dioxins, ethylene dichloride, cadmium, lead, vinyl chloride and other toxic chemicals. Chlorinated plastic releases toxic chemicals into the soil and then in turn, they seep into groundwater or drinking water. Our ecosystem is globally interconnected, and this seeping causes serious danger to all the species that drink the water.
As if that’s not scary enough, many of those toxic chemicals leech into the food or water that we are using plastic to contain. Ever wonder why you hear, “Don’t heat plastic or wash in the dishwasher?” It’s because putting plastics in heat—even the ‘dishwasher safe’ plastics (as if there is such a thing) can be quite dangerous for the entire family. Yes, even if you put them on the top rack. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is significant concern about chemicals in plastics. That’s because many of the chemicals considered ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ by the FDA were recognized as such under antiquated and archaic regulations from the 1950s. We know more, so we aim to do better today. It’s hard in a world of marketers who’d tell you otherwise, though.
And do we even have to tell you what plastics do to our ocean habitats? It’s a global tragedy on an epic level.
As For Me And My House
In my house, we only permit BPA-free toys, sippy cups, and other plastics while trying to minimize our use of plastic altogether. Doing so is supposed to spare us from hormone-disrupting chemicals found in bisphenol-A. But these plastic items still aren’t safe (if by safe we mean products that don’t leach other hormone-disrupting chemicals). Research now indicates that nearly every plastic product (including BPA-free) is made up of chemicals that stimulate estrogenic activity (EA) in human cells.