Our Bodies, Our Blog has a great post about plastic, er, I don't mean it says anything great about plastic. It's informative, as their posts typically are. It turns out that some of the chemicals used in plastics seem to cause endocrine problems, cancer, etc. and that other countries and now California ban them. Duh. I'm shocked. You? Here's a snippet:
Last week, the National Toxicology Program released a draft report on bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used in hard, clear plastic, such as Nalgene and baby bottles, as well as in the lining of baby formula containers and canned foods.The previous post has an interesting link to an article in the Telegraph.UK by Paul Stokes, Body absorbs 5lb of make-up chemicals a year, which speaks directly to women's make-up. Ugh.
Studies in animals have linked it to hormonal changes, and the report acknowledged "some concern" that BPA may affect neural and behavioral development "in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures."
The report "signaled a turning point in the government's position on bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical so ubiquitous in the United States that it has been detected in the urine of 93 percent of the population over 6 years of age," Lyndsey Layton wrote in the Washington Post, though it only called for more research into the health effects. --- snip ---
For more in-depth reading on the health concerns and scientific debate around BPA, check out "The Plastics Revolution," published in the Washington Post earlier this week.
The author, Ranit Mishori, a family physician and faculty member at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, also looks at the debate over phthalates -- chemical compounds that improve the longevity, durability and flexibility of plastic. In animal studies, these compounds have been linked to cancers and genital abnormalities, especially in males.
Again, the Unites States lags behind other countries, as phthalates are already banned in the manufacture of toys in most European countries. California took action on its own, implementing a ban that goes into effect in 2009 on some phthalates found in toys and teethers. A dozen other states are considering similar bans.
But it's not as easy as banning items that children like to put in their mouths. Phthlates are also found in commonly used personal care products, including shampoos and deodorants and perfumes -- for more info., see (their) previous post on cosmetics and phthalates.
And about that bottled water. I know it's old news too. I mean the article in the NY Times, Must Be Something in The Water, by Julia Moskin was written well over a year ago. Her article is quite informative, although, you don't have to read it to know that millions of plastic bottles are piling up everywhere and that the water industry is huge and getter bigger all the time. Had I read it before, however, I would have known that Dasani water, sold by Coca-Cola and "available", ie, the only choice in numerous markets, is simply purified municipal water with magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride and sodium chloride added. Just what I want in my water. Salt.
Grrrr. It must be something in the water, indeed. And btw, if you wanna see somebody who's really tired of plastic, visit Beth Terry at Fake Plastic Fish. You'll be glad you did.