Everyone should read this – it’ll persuade you to STORE your food in GLASS! https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/9/11/17614540/plastic-food-containers-contamination-health-risks
There’s a good chance much of what you ingested was packaged, stored, heated, lined, or served in plastic. And unfortunately, there’s mounting scientific evidence that these plastics are harming our health, from as early as our time in our mother’s womb.
Most of our food containers — from bottles to the linings in aluminum cans to plastic wraps and salad bins — are made using polycarbonate plastics, some of which have bioactive chemicals, like bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates.
These man-made chemicals can leach from the containers or wrappings into the food and drinks they’re holding — especially when they’re heated. Research released earlier this year found that more than 90 percent of bottled water from the world’s leading brands was contaminated with microplastics, sparking a review of plastics in drinking water by the World Health Organization…
For toxins, the more you’re exposed to, the greater the effect. [But] that is not true of hormones,” he said. “Hormones aren’t toxins; they’re regulatory molecules that operate at a trillionth of a gram level.”
In fact, hormones — and plastics that mimic hormones — are part of complex feedback systems in our bodies and don’t have a linear effect that’s directly related to dose. Vom Saal and his colleagues published a study in 2012 that found DEHP, a phthalate found in food packaging, had adverse reproductive effects in doses up to 25,000 times lower than had been previously imagined. They also noticed reproductive tract malformations in the male offspring of mice that were fed DEHP in oil.
Altogether, the animal research suggests that plastics can be harmful, especially to animals’ reproductive systems, and can cause abnormal sperm, egg, and fetal development…
Researchers have noted that BPS, a compound that is structurally very similar to BPA, has similar effects on aquatic animals, but using BPS means manufacturers can claim their products are BPA-free…
In the absence of stronger regulations, there are things you can do to limit your exposure to chemicals in food:
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables when possible, so that you avoid plasticized storage containers with chemicals that can leach into your foods.
- Don’t microwave food or drinks (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic since heating up food containers increases the release of chemicals into food. Use glassware instead.
- Opt for glass or stainless steel to store your food.
- Avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (which means it contains phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols).
But even if you do all these things, it’s impossible to totally avoid these common chemicals. BPA can be found on sales receipts and in plastic utensils. As a recent story in GQ, about the declining sperm count in men, points out, phthalates are even more ubiquitous:
They are in the coatings of pills and nutritional supplements; they’re used in gelling agents, lubricants, binders, emulsifying agents, and suspending agents. Not to mention medical devices, detergents and packaging, paint and modeling clay, pharmaceuticals and textiles and sex toys and nail polish and liquid soap and hair spray.
And the plastics that we may not directly consume end up in landfills, where they break down into microplastics and can absorb harmful pollutants — all of which can enter our oceans, water, and food supply. So it’s no surprise that just about all Americans have measurable amounts of phthalates and BPA in their bodies. Still, any effort to reduce your exposure is probably worth it.