Plastic is everywhere and that’s the reality. It is flexible, cheap, durable and extremely useful. We are aware that plastic is being heavily criticized for its negative impact on the ecosystem. But is the awareness reflecting anywhere in our practice? Oh! Let me guess, are you thinking that the government should take the call and ban plastic everywhere? Therefore you are still contributing your bit to this destruction. Well, it is high time when neither to protect the environment nor for your next generation- we must stop using plastic now to save our health.
What’s wrong with Plastic?
There are 7 categories of plastics – among which type 3,6 and type 7 are the major matter of concern for your health. You will be shocked to know that all our plastic food containers, plastic bottles, plastic packaging materials (cling film too) come under these categories. These plastics contain various toxic chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates etc which leach into the food over time, particularly at elevated temperatures. You will be surprised to know that the leaching process is accelerated by repeated washing of such containers. There are multiple studies showing how BPA and phthalates enter our body and create numerous health risks.
BPA gets into our body and mimics reproductive hormone ‘estrogen’ thus often it often referred to as xenoestrogen. It produces hormonal imbalance, trigger autoimmune response which associates a long list of complications. BPA is potential enough to disturb the functioning of the thyroid gland, the female reproductive function creates recurrent miscarriages and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Confused with medical jargon? Wait, the list is really long.
Decreased sperm production, rapid puberty, rapid changes in immune system, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disorder, obesity has also been linked with BPA. Some studies have even claimed that BPA increases the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. So is there any disease left which is not associated with BPA rather plastic? Think about it.
Well, after BPA, Phthalates are the second concern which is a little less damaging to human than BPA. However, phthalates also capable enough to create hormonal imbalances like BPA.
So BPA is the main culprit?
Companies are smart, really smart. To tackle the situation, they have come with new plastics labeled as “BPA-free” where BPA has been replaced by BPS (Bisphenol-S) and phthalates, But does this make the situation any better? Well, BPS thought to be more heat stable and less endocrine-disrupting chemical, however, the research found both have quite a similar health risk.
Okay. We get it…..now what to do?
The drill is simple. Avoid plastic where ever it is possible. You are intelligent enough to figure out the replacement. Do not spend your hard earned money to buy such toxins. If you can save yourself, the ecosystem will manage to survive on its own. Just learn to say NO to plastic. Keep practicing.