Why we need to ditch the plastic.
There are thousands of compounds found in plastic products and relatively little is known about most of them.
Phthalates which are used to make plastic more flexible are found in food packaging and plastic wrap. BPA is another chemical in plastic to avoid. Unfortunately now it’s just being replaced with BPS and BPF which may be equally as bad.
When exposed to heat or cold polyethylene and polypropylene can break down, leaching endocrine disrupting chemicals into food and drink. This causes them to break down and end up in our food. Oily foods are also thought to attract some plastic chemicals.
Free radicals and reaction byproducts are formed during plastic production so that the chemical ingredients you started with might not be the actual composition of the final product. There are also impurities and so called non intentionally added substances (Nias) in the original source materials that accumulate alongside known chemical ingredients. So basically it’s hard to know exactly what makes up the end composition.
We need to be mindful of our cumulative exposure to plastics, especially to vulnerable people like infants, children and pregnant women.
What is BPA?
BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used since the ’60s to make certain plastics and resins. BPA has been found in Polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin.
Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles, Tupperware and even baby bottles.
In September 2008 the National Toxicology Program of NIH determined that BPA may pose risks to human development, raising concerns for early puberty, prostate effects, breast cancer, and behavioral impacts from early life exposures. Pregnant women, infants and young children are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of BPA, although a recent study linked BPA exposures to risk of heart disease, diabetes, and liver toxicity.
Unfortunately buying BPA free doesn’t not mean toxic free. Despite the industry wide move away from BPA towards BPS, they both exhibit similar estrogen like properties. In Australia, BPA is not legally banned.
It has been voluntarily phased out by major Australian retailers in 2010 which means companies can still use it if they choose. Lots of companies have caught on to the fact that they can sell more of a product if it’s labeled as “BPA” free.
For example, almost all plastics contain toxic chemicals that have a negative effect on immunity and hormone regulation, both of which directly affect fertility. Specifically, BPA has been found to make it more difficult for women to conceive and to cause increased risk of miscarriages. New research is also showing that toxins found in plastic can cause birth defects and developmental problems in children.
Plastics are in most cases made from petrochemicals through an energy intensive process that itself creates lots of pollution and toxic discharge. Most plastic in the world is not recycled and usually ends up in landfills, where it degrades very slowly.
What to use:
•SAFER PLASTICS : Plastics ♻2 (HDPE), ♻4 (LDPE) and ♻5 (PP) are the safer options when choosing plastics.