Here we go again. Just when I thought I had picked the right plastic, I discover I’m drinking toxic water. I stopped microwaving with plastics after reading about dioxins leaching into foods. Soon after, I threw out my microwave. What was I thinking, zapping my food and spinning its molecules? I stopped using soft plastic food containers and soft plastic water bottles. Instead I bought a box of Mason jars and two cool sets of glass food containers. My leftovers and salad fixins were happy, and so was I. bought two new hard plastic water bottles. Safe, right? Wrong!
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports the toxic chemical, bisphenol-a or BPA is now leaching into our food from clear, hard plastic bottles and containers and from the inner lining of canned foods. Animal studies raised multiple health concerns including a risk of cancer and hormonal disruptions that may cause early puberty in females.
The CDC reports 93% of Americans have BPA in their bodies. It certainly is found everywhere in our environment! Quoting the Tufts University School of Medicine report to the National Toxicology Program, theses scientists state there are many routes to exposure other than the oral route. “In a survey of 118 homes, BPA was found to be present in 86% of dust samples… cited in a report examining preschoolers found BPA present in detectable levels in indoor and outdoor air samples, floor dust, and play area soil.” They go on to say BPA is found in the air and dust of homes and offices, in sewage treatment works effluents, rivers, creeks, and drinking water, making exposure through drinking water and bathing likely.
It actually makes sense that it is found everywhere, because it is an element in so many things: CDs, telephone parts, glasses, even composite dental fillings! Just think, we can trade in mercury poisoning for chemical poisoning!
The 69 page preliminary report from the NTP was an interesting read. As one might expect, they determined the risk to infants and children is greater than the risk to adults. Glass baby bottles have regained their popularity. Even-flo is sold out online with a 2-3 week back order as moms scramble to replace plastic baby bottles.
I look in my kitchen to find my food steamer, my favorite means for cooking rice as well as well as vegetables, is made of #7 plastic. My ice tea maker—plastic. My sprouter—plastic. My toaster—plastic. I read about BPAs, dioxins, and PVCs and I wonder if any plastic is a good plastic.
Jan Lundberg from culturechange.org, a nonprofit network of anti-petroleum activists and visionaries for sustainability, would say no. “Plastics’ long-term effects were not considered when first made and put into the environment,” she says. “Now we are starting to see the harm and implications for the health of the oceans and our species.”
I’m getting my name on the backorder list for glass baby bottles. I’m buying a timer so I can cook my rice in a stainless steel pan. I’m storing my food in glass jars and glass containers. I’m drinking my water from a glass made of glass. Now, if I can just find a water distiller with no plastic parts…