Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tip #42: Avoid plastics

From this summer vacation: my sister and my son and the glass water bottle I refilled everyday.
Another super busy week, so I'm just going to write very little, give some information to read, and then you can decide for yourself.

I'm sure you all have been hearing about the dangers of BPA, an organic compound found in some hard plastics. Although it's been used for more than 40 years, it is only recently that people are starting to be aware of its dangers (A hard plastic is raising hard questions - New York Times, 2008).

But it is not only BPA. There are other compounds in plastic, like phthalates that have similar effects on our bodies. They mimic certain hormones and disrupt our natural ones. Many cancers are associated with disruption in hormones, such as breast and prostate cancers, so this is quite worrisome.

So, although it is very difficult to avoid all plastics, there are still ways to minimize their use. I now try to not drink out of plastic bottles, and instead I got a glass refillable bottle, where I put my daily tea when I go out. We also have phased out any plastic containers in the kitchen and replaced them with glass.

Here are some articles that talk precisely about using plastic water bottles, sometimes more than once:
I don't want to spread fear mongering here. But we do need to understand that, unfortunately, we all have to do our own research and decide for ourselves, because just trusting companies or the government will not really protect us. (If you do read one of the links in this post, please make it this one: The Cancer Lobby, by N. Kistof, New York Times. It is not exactly about the compounds I'm mentioning here, but the story is the same).

And here's a short video with Dr. Frank Lipman and Kyra Sedgwick talking more about the dangers of plastics.

Do you have any more recommendations as to how we can replace plastic in our lives? As always, looking forward to your comments and thanks so much for reading!