What You Must Know About the Dangers of Plastic
What You Must Know About the Dangers of Plastic
As a speaker, I continue to educate patients at Root Cause Medical Clinic while giving lectures around Silicon Valley. One of these lectures is called “Living Healthy in a Toxic World” where I try to showcase the avoidable toxins in our environment because they are just that, avoidable. I purposefully don’t focus on unavoidable toxins such as air pollution because we have to breathe, right? The thrust of my lecture is two-fold:
1. Some of the worst toxins are avoidable and I give tips on how to do just that.
2. If you optimize the functioning of certain key organs of your body, namely the intestine and liver, you’ll be able to tolerate and detoxify the toxins you don’t have control over.
BPA, Not Your Friend
In 2008 the dangers of the chemical BPA were brought to light. I review this in my lecture, of course, because what was discovered about BPA was that any quantity of it was a hormonal disruptor. Specifically, it mimics the hormone estrogen and can create a multitude of health disorders.
BPA is a highly studied chemical that has been linked to a number of health problems: Highest on the list is breast cancer, but brain damage, hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, impaired learning, infertility, early puberty, increased risk for obesity, altered immune function and stimulation of prostate cancer cells are a few of the concerns that have been cited.
When giving my lecture I mention that BPA-free plastic bottles are now available. Yet whenever I mentioned it the same thought crossed my nutritionist mind and I had to wonder – were these “new” plastic bottles any safer than the BPA ones? Did we know anything about all the other plastics on the market?
Inherent in my recommendations was to try to avoid as much plastic as possible. I recommended glass and metal bottles for food and drink and warned against storing or heating any food in plastic. It seemed the safest recommendation and the nagging feeling that all plastic could prove to be a problem guided my cautions against it.
New Expose Reveals the Truth
Recently an expose was released by Mother Jones that completely validated my concerns. You won’t necessarily like it, but perhaps you too wondered about the safety of plastic, especially if you knew the hazards associated with BPA. A group called Democracy Now interviewed the author and you can watch that 27-minute video here.
To summarize, the author Mariah Blake, who researched the field extensively, discovered a disturbing fact. There are 80,000 chemicals present in our society, almost none of which have been tested for safety. According to Blake, these chemicals are presumed safe until found otherwise.
BPA Replacement Chemical is Worse than BPA
When BPA was discovered to be toxic, it was replaced by a new chemical, trademarked Tritan from Eastman, that was largely untested, at least not objectively. The company has been making claims that their BPA replacement is totally safe. Not surprisingly, that chemical has now been discovered to not only also be an estrogen mimicker, but it appears to be even more toxic than BPA!
Yet some studies state that plastics are perfectly safe. Look a little deeper into these studies and you will find them to be industry-funded, meaning that they were paid for by the plastic industry. It’s sad that, much like pharmaceutical studies that are industry-funded, the results are found to be skewed to favor the manufacturer of the product. Their results cannot be trusted.
Industry Funded Studied “Skew” the Truth
The author of the expose unveiled how it was possible for a study to “show” that these plastic chemicals were safe. These industries funded studied to use a particular species of rat from Charles River called the Sprague Dawley rat. It is a highly unique species because it is insensitive to estrogen. The Sprague Dawley can literally withstand 100 times the amount of estrogen of a human woman and not be affected. So of course, this was the species of a rat the industry-funded researchers used for their “research” on the safety of plastics.
Unbelievable! Feeling a little angry? Sorry to fuel the flame but another study, costing the US taxpayers $30 million, also used the Sprague Dawley rat. This study “concluded” that BPA in cans was safe. Using that species of rat, the study could have absolutely no validity. How could a test of a rat that is immune to estrogen show anything but no problem with estrogen!
“All” Plastics Had Disease-Causing Estrogenic Activity
A researcher committed to unbiased research named Dr. George Bittner evaluated 455 commercially available plastics and discovered virtually all of them to have estrogenic activity. Dr. Bittner was attacked for revealing this truth by the plastics industry, but he prevailed.
Not only were the vast majority of plastics discovered to leach estrogen-like chemicals, but the plastic sample that tested the worst was the corn-based biodegradable plastic proudly utilized in healthy food stores and certain “green” restaurants – it’s produced by Eastman and is called “Tritan”. It’s certainly not the fault of the companies that utilize these products in their restaurants. The fault lies with the lies they are being told by the manufacturers of these plastics. Dr. Bittner found a full 95% of these biodegradable plastics tested positive for estrogenic activity.
While these plastics are not good for any of us, they are especially hazardous to developing fetuses and young children. Remember, men are not off the hook, simply because they don’t carry the developing fetus. Chemicals alter the DNA and any male or female of childbearing age would do well to spend 6 months to a year detoxifying and optimizing their health before creating an innocent newborn.
What Should You Do?
I recommend that you remove as much plastic from your home as soon as possible, especially anything that comes in contact with your food. Below please find some specific recommendations:
|Instead of this…||Try this!|
|Plastic bottles||Glass or metal containers to carry your water|
|Buying drinks in plastic||Buy those in glass and get a reverse osmosis water purification system so that you can fill your own metal bottles at home|
|Plastic toys||Natural fiber toys|
|Plastic baby bottles||Glass baby bottles|
|Plastic dishes||Glass dishes|
|Plastic sippy cups||Metal and glass sippy cups are available. Check out this site|
|Plastic coffee/tea mug||Glass, metal, or ceramic mug|
|Dental sealant||Non-BPA sealants or perhaps avoid altogether|
|Canned goods||I used to recommend the BPA-free cans but in light of this information, I’d opt for glass jars or fresh food|
|Microwaving food||I’d advise that you avoid the microwave, but if you must use it, never heat food in a plastic container – only use glass – and never cover the food with plastic wrap|
|Plastic wrap||Use a glass lid or store in a jar|
Make a Few Changes at a Time
I know that we’re talking about a fair bit of change but I truly think it’s worth it. Take it on a gradient and begin with the biggest offenders. In my opinion that would be immediately getting rid of any plastic bottles, you drink from and replacing all plastic Tupperware-like containers that you store food within. If you have little ones, make them your priority first. Dispense with the plastic sippy cups and baby bottles. Find toys that are made from fabric vs. plastic.
I hope this helps. It is unfortunate that we have to take these matters into our own hands and that we are not told the truth by agencies we have believed to be trustworthy.
Why must we think cynically about what we are told? Why has it gotten to the point that we almost have to assume that someone or some entity has an “agenda” and that they are likely not telling us the truth?
I don’t like it and I’m sure you don’t either. I am here to share with you the truth as I discover it to be and to give you advice in areas that you can control and help you to get healthy and strong to overcome those things we have less control over.
We Can Help!
I am here for you and your family, as is the entire team here at Root Cause Medical Clinic. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Do you need help with your health?
We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.