SFH #27: Plastics 😱

The scary truth about toxic plastics

Long-term exposure to toxic plastics can lead to fertility disruption, metabolic issues (increased fat storage), high blood pressure, sleep disruption, depression, anxiety, immune toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer—quite the hit list. 🥊 I don't write this list as a scare tactic; I'm here to expose how invisible and thus insidious toxic plastics can be to our health. It's not just an environmental issue that will have long-term repercussions on our global health.

Harmful plastics are a direct threat to you and your family's health now. We are almost desensitized to this message. We often hear in news and health reports how a particularly harmful substance will slowly get us in the end. And the truth is that we are currently living out these end results in our individual and collective health. How many people do you know that have/had cancer? Depression? Fertility issues? Dementia? Our medical infrastructure looks to treat the symptoms, not to address the underlying problems.1 When's the last time you talked to an MD about a medical condition, and they went into your environmental triggers? Our medical community and the FDA can’t even agree on how much toxic plastic exposure is bad for us even though there is good science showing that low doses are even more problematic than higher doses.2

BPA is the most known of the bisphenol family. It's the most abundant, from single-use plastic bottles, food packaging (including the lining of canned foods), household electronics, and even store receipts. When BPA gets into your bloodstream, it interferes with our endocrine system and affects our cellular pathways with a xenoestrogen effect--meaning it acts like estrogen in your body. Mimicking estrogen can alter the endocrine system's functions and cause the various health defects mentioned at the top. BPA isn't the only culprit; we should be looking out for PCBs and phthalates as well. Today, we are going to keep this simple to reduce our toxic plastic exposure.

How to be more mindful around your plastic use

  1. Look out for recyclable containers with the numbers 7 and 3 and steer clear. ♻️

  2. Avoid canned foods when possible. Canned tomatoes and acidic foods are the biggest culprits of BPA leaching from the lining to the food. 🥫

  3. Avoid the microwave and other heat sources near plastics. Cutting down on microwave use, in general, is a good idea.3 📡

  4. Avoid packaged foods whenever possible. Go for fresh whole real foods. Your body will thank you for the double win. 📦

  5. Swap your plastics for metal, ceramics, paper, and glass. Whenever possible try and find an alternate usable source for your household items (especially the kitchen). 🍽

  6. Opt-out of paper receipts. When you put hand sanitizer it opens your pores and makes you more susceptible to the BPA that lines store receipts. 🧾

1

https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/western-medicine

2

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18827439/

3

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/microwave-cooking-and-nutrition