After watching the documentary “Tapped”, I wondered what else in my home contained PET, PETE, styrene, BPA etc. So I started walking around my home looking at the bottom of my food storage containers, foods in my pantry, cosmetics, etc. What I found was mortifying to me. It seems like everything in my home contains some form of these compounds.
*Note: If you are looking at the bottom of your items these are the symbols you should look out for.*
The symbols tell what chemical compounds are used in the item.
#1 Polyetheylene terephalate (PETE)
#2 High density polyethylene (HDPE)
#3 Unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (UPVC) or Plasticised polyvinyl chloride (PPVC)
#4 Low density polyethylene (LDPE)
#5 Polypropylene (PP)
#6 Polystyrene (PS) or Expandable polystyrene (EPS)
#7 Other, including nylon and acrylic
You may be thinking, well what’s the big deal? Well let me school you on a few things. These chemical compounds can leech into your food and drinks causing adverse effects on your health. Check out this grid created by the ecologycenter.org. It clearly shows how detrimental plastic can be to our health.
|Plastic||Common Uses||Adverse Health Effects|
|Food packaging, plastic wrap, containers for toiletries, cosmetics, crib bumpers, floor tiles, pacifiers, shower curtains, toys, water pipes, garden hoses, auto upholstery, inflatable swimming pools||Can cause cancer, birth defects, genetic changes, chronic bronchitis, ulcers, skin diseases, deafness, vision failure, indigestion, and liver dysfunction|
|Softened vinyl products manufactured with phthalates include vinyl clothing, emulsion paint, footwear, printing inks, non-mouthing toys and children’s products, product packaging and food wrap, vinyl flooring, blood bags and tubing, IV containers and components, surgical gloves, breathing tubes, general purpose labware, inhalation masks, many other medical devices||Endocrine disruption, linked to asthma, developmental and reporoductive effects. Medical waste with PVC and pthalates is regularly incinerated causing public health effects from the relese of dioxins and mercury, including cancer, birth defects, hormonal changes, declining sperm counts, infertility, endometriosis, and immune system impairment.|
|Polycarbonate, with Bisphenol A (#7)||Water bottles||Scientists have linked very low doses of bisphenol A exposure to cancers, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity, among other problems (Environment California)|
|Polystyrene||Many food containers for meats, fish, cheeses, yogurt, foam and clear clamshell containers, foam and rigid plates, clear bakery containers, packaging “peanuts”, foam packaging, audio cassette housings, CD cases, disposable cutlery, building insulation, flotation devices, ice buckets, wall tile, paints, serving trays, throw-away hot drink cups, toys||Can irritate eyes, nose and throat and can cause dizziness and unconsciousness. Migrates into food and stores in body fat. Elevated rates of lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers for workers.|
|Water and soda bottles, carpet fiber, chewing gum, coffee stirrers, drinking glasses, food containers and wrappers, heat-sealed plastic packaging, kitchenware, plastic bags, squeeze bottles, toys||Suspected human carcinogen|
|Polyester||Bedding, clothing, disposable diapers, food packaging, tampons, upholstery||Can cause eye and respiratory-tract irritation and acute skin rashes|
|Particle board, plywood, building insulation, fabric finishes||Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and has been shown to cause birth defects and genetic changes. Inhaling formaldehyde can cause cough, swelling of the throat, watery eyes, breathing problems, headaches, rashes, tiredness|
|Cushions, mattresses, pillows||Bronchitis, coughing, skin and eye problems. Can release toluene diisocyanate which can produce severe lung problems|
|Acrylic||Clothing, blankets, carpets made from acrylic fibers, adhesives, contact lenses, dentures, floor waxes, food preparation equipment, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, paints||Can cause breathing difficulties, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, weakness, headache and fatigue|
|Non-stick coating on cookware, clothes irons, ironing board covers, plumbing and tools||Can irritate eyes, nose and throat and can cause breathing difficulties|
My best friend and I have been researching this information all morning and we are both appalled. It’s just so frustrating that manufacturers use harmful chemicals that can contaminate our foods and cause so many health issues. No wonder why chronic illnesses are at an all time high in our society. SO MANY PEOPLE are uninformed about the potential carcinogens that we are ingesting daily. We are slowly killing ourselves in the name of convenience! I know we live in a microwave society where we want everything in a hurry but we really need to slow down and consider the long term effects of these perfectly packaged goods. Our bodies are supposed to be a temple. We have to learn to be more cautious about what we put in it.
Honestly I feel like Morpheus gave me the blue pill from the Matrix. Now that my eyes are opened, I have decided that I am waging a war against plastic.
I cannot correct all the damage I may have already caused unknowingly but I will definitely end the cycle now that I know better. I am going to start in my kitchen by getting rid of my plastic containers, cups, etc and replacing them with glass. My mom thinks that I am “overreacting” but I cannot ignore this info.
Were you aware of the harmful effects of plastic or are you just as surprised as I am? Let me know in the comments below. Join in the war with me if your like by replacing one plastic item in your home with glass.
Until next post,