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I'm getting more health savvy as I get older, reading more about what I'm putting into my body, learning about the effect of foods and liquids I ingest on my physical being as well as my emotions and chemistry. A lot of what I read is fucking ALARMING. I do try to find alternate sources when I'm reading something really scary, not take one side of this, or just one source. But I am slanted away from big corporations' "opinions," given their inherent self-serving nature.

That said, I recently watched a documentary on The Sundance Channel called, Addicted to Plastic, which featured a lot of interesting information about the way plastic is taking over the world's landfills and countrysides. And I'm a little slow to this party, but the main thrust health-wise was the toxicity levels of BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical compound found in hard, clear polycarbonate plastics and in many other consumer products. From Salon.com News:

"Bisphenol A is a building block of the durable light plastics used in consumer products ranging from baby bottles to coffee makers to laptop computers, CDs to dental sealants to food can liners. It's a key ingredient of car parts, water filters, textiles, paper and a widely used flame retardant. "Everyone is exposed to it," says Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, reproductive endocrinologist at Yale University School of Medicine, who is studying the impact of the chemical on female reproductive health."

From U.S. News and World Report Health:

"BPA has raised concerns because it appears to mimic the effects of estrogen, interfering with hormone levels and cell signaling systems. Previous studies have shown that people exposed to high levels of BPA have a greater risk of developing uterine fibroids, breast cancer, decreased sperm counts, and prostate cancer. Babies and children are thought to be at greatest risk from the exposure."

The NIEHS/NTP considers it of "...some concern for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures to bisphenol A" and of "...minimal concern for effects on the mammary gland and an earlier age for puberty for females in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures to bisphenol A."

So it's found in products such as the linings of metal food cans, in microwavable containers (even those labeled "Microwave Safe"...that's an industry gimmick, not a federally-mandated or controlled, regulated labeling device), in baby bottles, in water bottles...it's fucking EVERYWHERE. And it's been shown to cause abnormalities at a chromosomal level which can lead to infertility, birth defects, various forms of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Canada has banned BPA products, and even WalMart has taken all BPA products off its shelves.

How do I get this shit out of my life, Donna? You can't, totally. But you can make better choices about what products you're exposing yourself and your family to. Don't buy plastic items with 3, 6, or 7 in the recycling logo on the bottom. All have been shown to contain dangerous or potentially dangerous chemicals. Choose stainless steel, glass, and plastics that don't leech chemicals into your food or water. BPA-free products are becoming more readily available every day, including plastic wraps, safe bottles, baby products and in the packaging you purchase your food in. They include safe synthetic choices, and green, sustainable products. A simple Google search for "BPA-free products" turned up a HUGE number of hits.

My cheap little Ikea food storage containers don't even HAVE a recycling number on them; they're going in the garbage today.

on 2010-01-27 03:28 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] dutchmodernist.livejournal.com
Ugh, the lid on my coffee today, helpfully labeled as an "ecotainer" had the damn 7 on it. No more purchased cups of coffee!

on 2010-01-27 12:25 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lacyunderall.livejournal.com
frustrating, right? you can still get outside coffee, but you have to know if their coffee makers are BPA-free...then just put in your own coffee cup (with a bpa-free lid). sounds nuts, but man, i keep reading more and more stuff that convinces me this shit is evil. the fda reversed itself last month by saying, 'well, we said it was safe and now we realize it isn't, but we can't do anything about it because it isn't officially a food additive.'

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