While we’re on the subject of everyday health hazards hiding in our environment, would you like to hear what the Endocrine Society and the International Pollutants Elimination Network just realized?
I’ll give you a hint: It’s something I’ve been warning you about for at least a decade now…
Plastics have always posed a recognizable threat
According to a new report designed to guide public health policy, plastics pose an “unrecognized threat” to human health—due to the endocrine-disrupting chemicals that they introduce to the human body.
To which I ask… if you and I have known about this threat for as long as we have, shouldn’t at least one of the agencies in charge of keeping us safe have known about it too? And better yet, shouldn’t they have been doing something about it?
But that’s not the only irritating thing here. This report was supposedly designed so that public interest groups, policy makers, and doctors could discuss the potential dangers of plastics—including how to avoid exposure the chemicals they release—with their patients and constituents.
But the last time I checked, these policy makers and doctors all have advanced degrees… and if they had bothered to read the literature over the past 15 years as I have done, they’d, too, already have their own well-formed conclusions about plastics. And the public would presumably have heard all about them already.
Regardless, this report—called Plastics, EDCs, and Health—defines endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) as any external chemical or combination of chemicals that interfere with hormone activity within the body.
As you know by now, hormones mediate just about every crucial function in your body. And they must be released in the right quantities at the right times—or things can go very wrong, especially where growth and reproductive development are concerned.
Given the abundance of EDCs in our environment—of which plastics represent a huge portion—is it really any wonder why so many couples require medical intervention to get pregnant, or why I am seeing young men with testosterone levels lower than mine on a regular basis?
Maybe according to this report… but certainly not in my opinion. (Learn more in the June 2020 issue of Logical Health Alternatives [“Is male infertility the next global crisis in the making?”].)
And to make matters worse, we’ve only just scraped the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exactly how many EDC’s are really floating around out there. Don’t get me wrong, many have been identified. But there are still a lot of potentially dangerous chemical additives that we don’t know about.
Plastics are everywhere
Simply put, the more plastic you use, the higher your likely exposure to EDCs. And I’m not just talking about bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates—but also polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), dioxins, and flame retardants, just to name a few.
As a reminder, PFAS have been used for decades in stain resistant clothes, fast food wrappers, carpet and furniture treatments, and cookware. At this point, they’re so ubiquitous that they’re in our drinking and ground water, too. (So even eating fish that swim in these waters is a common source of PFAS exposure.)
You also have microplastics (super fine particles of plastic that lurk in our soil and water—even in the remote Arctic) and flame retardants substances (which are common in plastics like electronics cases, furniture foam, and other building materials) to be aware of.
And sadly, even recycling contributes to the problem, as additional chemicals are created and released during the process of making other plastics with plastics.
The fact is, there’s only one truly safe way to reduce your exposure to these deadly substances—and that’s to stop using plastic altogether. For starters, stop heating up your food in plastic containers—and never reuse your takeout containers. (Use glass containers instead.) And try not to drink out of plastic, either. (That includes plastic straws. Use paper, bamboo, stainless steel, or any other option that doesn’t rely on plastic.) Finally, use stainless steel or cast-iron pots and pans—along with stainless steel or wooden utensils.
Because once these chemicals are in your body, they don’t just go away—they keep accumulating, as we have very little ability to excrete them. (So it’s no surprise that they turn up regularly in urine, blood, placenta tissue and umbilical cords, and breast milk.)
At the end of the day, it’s clear that plastic is dangerous to many aspects of human health—and the sooner people recognize it, the better.
“Endocrine-Disrupting Plastics Pose Growing Health Threat.” Medscape Medical News, 12/16/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/942715)