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Look around your home...take note
just how many plastic items arearound you. From food containers and utensils
to bags, water bottles, showercurtains and children’s toys, plastic has become
a permanent fixture in oureveryday lives – but it’s one that comes with serious
Approximately 200 billion pounds (that’s 100 million tons) of plastic are
produced every year. Some now say we have entered the “Age of Plastics.” But
all of these plastic chemicals are now finding their way into your body and
the environment, where they are accumulating over time with potentially
catastrophic biological consequences.
Why You Should Check the Resin Identification Code
It is possible to seriously cut back on the amount of plastic in your
life, which I strongly recommend and give tips for below. However, for the
plastics you do use it’s important to be aware of the risks they pose.
This can be determined through a classification system called the Resin
Identification Code, which is the number printed on the bottom of most
plastic bottles and food containers. It describes what kind of plastic resin
the product is made out of.
The featured article compiled a breakdown of what each Resin
Identification Code means, which you can use to help you make informed
decisions on your plastic usage. As you’ll read below, you should generally
avoid plastics labeled #7, #3 or #6, while those that may be somewhat safer
include #1, #2, #4 and #5.
Getting to Know Your Plastics: What the 7 Numbers Mean
Plastic #1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
Typically used to make bottles for soft drinks, water, juice,
mouthwash, sports drinks and containers for condiments like ketchup, salad
dressing, jelly and jam, PET is considered safe, but it can actually leach
the toxic metal antimony, which is used during its manufacture.
One study that looked at 63 brands of bottled water produced in
Europe and Canada found concentrations of antimony that were more than 100
times the typical level found in clean groundwater (2 parts per trillion).
It also found that the longer a bottle of water sits on a shelf -- in
a grocery store or your refrigerator -- the greater the dose of antimony
present. It is believed that the amount of antimony leeching from these PET
bottles differs based on exposure to sunlight, higher temperatures, and
varying pH levels.
Brominated compounds have also been found to leach into PET bottles.
Bromine is known to act as a central nervous system depressant, and can
trigger a number of psychological symptoms such as acute paranoia and other
Plastic #2: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE, which is considered a low-hazard plastic, is often used for
milk, water and juice bottles, as well as bottles for cleaning supplies and
shampoo. It’s also used to make grocery bags and cereal box liners. HDPE
(like most plastics) has been found to release estrogenic chemicals.
In one study, 95 percent of all plastic products tested were positive
for estrogenic activity, meaning they can potentially disrupt your hormones
and even alter the structure of human cells, posing risks to infants and
children. In this particular study, even products that claimed to be free of
the common plastic toxicant bisphenol-A (BPA) still tested positive for other
Plastic #3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC plastic can be rigid or flexible, and is commonly found in bags
for bedding, shrink wrap, deli and meat wrap, plastic toys, table cloths and
blister packs used to store medications.
PVC contains toxic chemicals including DEHP, a type of phthalate used
as a plastics softener. Phthalates are one of the groups of "gender-bending"
chemicals causing males of many species to become more female. These
chemicals have disrupted the endocrine systems of wildlife, causing
testicular cancer, genital deformations, low sperm counts and infertility in
a number of species, including polar bears, deer, whales and otters, just to
name a few.
Scientists believe phthalates are responsible for a similar pattern
of adverse effects in humans as well. If your home contains soft, flexible
plastic flooring, such as vinyl or those padded play-mat floors for kids
(often used in day cares and kindergartens, too), there’s a good chance it is
also made from toxic PVC. PVC flooring has been linked to chronic diseases
including allergies, asthma and autism.
Plastic #4: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
Another plastic that is considered a low hazard, LDPE is used in bags
for bread, newspapers, fresh produce, household garbage and frozen foods, as
well as in paper milk cartons and hot and cold beverage cups. While LDPE does
not contain BPA, it may pose risks of leaching estrogenic chemicals, similar
Plastic #5: Polypropylene (PP)
PP plastic is used to make containers for yogurt, deli foods,
medications and takeout meals. While polypropylene is said to have a high
heat tolerance making it unlikely to leach chemicals, at least one study
found that PP plastic ware used for laboratory studies did leach at least two
Plastic #6: Polystyrene (PS)
Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is used to make cups, plates,
bowls, take-out containers, meat trays and more. Polystyrene is known to
leach styrene,7 which can damage your nervous system and is linked to cancer,
into your food. Temperature has been found to play a role in how much styrene
leaches from polystyrene containers, which means using them for hot foods and
beverages (such as hot coffee in a polystyrene cup) may be worst of all.
Plastic #7: Other
This is a catch-all designation used to describe products made from
other plastic resins not described above, or those made from a combination of
plastics. It’s difficult to know for sure what types of toxins may be in
plastics, but there’s a good chance it often contains BPA or the new, equally
concerning chemical on the block in the bisphenol class known as Bisphenol-S
BPA and BPS are endocrine disrupters, which means they mimic or
interfere with your body's hormones and "disrupts" your endocrine system. The
glands of your endocrine system and the hormones they release are
instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function,
metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes.
Some of the greatest concern surrounds early-life, in utero exposure
to bisphenol compounds, which can lead to chromosomal errors in your
developing fetus, causing spontaneous miscarriages and genetic damage. But
evidence is also very strong showing these chemicals are influencing adults
and children, too, and leading to decreased sperm quality, early puberty,
stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles and
ovarian dysfunction, cancer and heart disease, among numerous other health
For instance, research has found that "higher BPA exposure is
associated with general and central obesity in the general adult population
of the United States," while another study found that BPA is associated not
only with generalized and abdominal obesity, but also with insulin
resistance, which is an underlying factor in many chronic diseases.
Plastics Pose a Great Risk to the Environment, Too
Plastics are not only an issue in products while they’re being used but
also when they’re disposed of. While approximately 50 percent of plastic
waste goes to landfills (where it will sit for hundreds of years due to
limited oxygen and lack of microorganisms to break it down) the remaining 45
plus percent “disappears” into the environment where it ultimately washes out
to sea, damaging marine ecosystems and entering the food chain.
Plastic particles are like “sponges” for waterborne contaminants such as
PCBs, pesticides like DDT, herbicides, PAHs, and other persistent organic
pollutants. This phenomenon makes plastics far from benign, and scientists
have yet to determine the full extent of the dangers posed by their
consumption or the effects higher up the food chain.
One of the biggest environmental assaults is the massive accumulation of
plastic trash in each of the world’s five major oceanic gyres. Gyres are
large, slowly rotating oceanic whirlpools, driven by global winds and ocean
currents.10 Garbage and debris is funneled into the center of these gyres, in
a kind of toilet bowl effect or vortex.
One of these gyres, the North Pacific Gyre, is in the middle of the
Pacific Ocean about a thousand miles from the Western coast. In its midst is
a huge mass of trash (90 percent plastics), which floats in a soup of smaller
pieces that have been broken apart by wave action.
Some call it the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and others the “Pacific
Trash Vortex,” but regardless of its name, it’s the largest “landfill” in the
world. In it you will find everything from plastic netting to bottles and
bags and buckets, paint rollers, hula-hoops and medical equipment. Most of
the garbage patch, however, is not made up of large items but rather
microplastics you can’t see with the naked eye, forming a sort of plastic
soup where pure seawater used to be. Filter-feeding marine animals ingest
these plastic particles, and the toxins they contain, and subsequently pass
them up through the food chain, and eventually to humans.
Tips for Cutting Down on Your Plastic Use
If at all possible, seek to purchase products that are not made from or
packaged in plastic. Here are a few ideas for doing so:
Use reusable shopping bags for groceries.
Bring your own mug for coffee.
Bring drinking water from home in glass water bottles, instead of
buying bottled water.
Store foods in the freezer in glass mason jars as opposed to plastic
Take your own non-plastic container to restaurants for leftovers.
Request no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning.
Avoid disposable utensils.
Buy foods in bulk when you can.
Replace your plastic kitchenware with glass or ceramic alternatives.
Use stainless steel or high-heat-resistant nylon for utensils in lieu
Since plastic is found widely in processed food packaging (this includes
canned foods and beverages, which typically have a plastic lining), modifying
your diet to include primarily fresh, whole foods that you purchase at a
farmer's market or food co-op will have the added benefit of helping you cut
down on exposure to plastic chemicals that are common in the food packages
sold at most supermarkets.
Thanks Dr. Mercola
God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.
42 S. Sherwood Dr.
Belton, Tx. 76513