Plastics are nearly unavoidable in modern living, but can have serious health effects. Two compounds common in plastics, phthalates and bisphenol-A, are now under scientific scrutiny and suspicion.
Phthalates are plasticizers used to make plastic products more flexible. They are synthetic chemicals commonly found in inks, adhesives, paints, vinyl floor coverings, and most plastics - including food wrap. Recent research has found that male offspring of female rats exposed to phthalates have reduced testosterone levels and abnormalities in the reproductive tract. Further, there is a higher risk of miscarriage among women exposed to high levels of these compounds. It is now known that plasticizers in some plastic wraps migrate into fatty foods such as meat and cheese.
The research on bisphenol-A is perhaps of even more concern. Found in polycarbonate water jugs and even the dental sealant applied to children's teeth, bisphenol-A is a known estrogen mimic that can alter the development of male reproductive organs, result in a permanently enlarged prostate gland, and permanently decrease daily sperm production by 20%. Exposure to bisphenol-A is also thought to be a risk factor for cancer.
Everyone should take steps to decrease the potential toxic effects of plastic. Foods that come in Styrofoam trays, plastic wraps, or plastic lined cans should be repackaged into wax paper, glass or ceramic. Also, caution is advised if microwaving food or drinks in "microwave safe" plastic containers or wrapped in plastic food wrap; rather use glass or ceramic ware. Substitutes for plastic baby bottles, teething rings, and plastic toys for your children should be explored as well.
This is not to suggest the world is coming to an end because of plastic. Always remember that the dose makes the poison. Anything, even oxygen and water, can be toxic in high enough dose. On the other hand, be mindful that our bodies are designed for nature and are much better capable of detoxifying natural toxins than synthetics for which there is no genetic experience.
Best of health to you and yours from all of us here at Wysong.
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