Saturday, March 13, 2010

Plastic Can Cause Obesity

39 days to Earthfest! Woot!

Today's Globe and Mail had an article that focused on what I've been bellyaching about for the past week or two:  toxins.  The article:  Eureka! Less really is more - deadly. Well, duh. So today's really difficult eco-task is to give up something plastic...

"For 500 years, science has believed that we can tolerate a little bit of almost any kind of poison. Those days may be gone...and the implications are staggering." And he goes on to name phthalates, PBAs, perfluorinated compounds, polybrominated flame retardants, and mercury in the list of pollutants that can harm us in very tiny amounts.  The book Slow Death by Rubber Duck explains how small consistent doses cause more health problems than large one-time doses, but the article doesn't get into that (despite the headline). 

From the article:  "Not only are small doses of hormone disruptors dangerous, he says, they may well explain the mysterious rash of modern ailments - attention-deficit disorders, thyroid problems, obesity, precocious puberty in girls, hormonally influenced cancers - that have gone from rare to commonplace....Many chemicals used to make plastics and pesticides have, upon closer testing, been found to be able to play havoc with hormones."  Okay, upon closer testing that was done about sixty years ago.  Yeesh! 

When the paper reported a couple of years ago that phthalates can cause smaller penis size, I thought that would be the end of them. Sure they cause cancers and all sorts of other ailments, but surely they'll put a stop to something that hits below the belt like that. Now BPAs are being linked to obesity. That's gotta be another stopper.

I know what made me quit smoking wasn't a fear of cancer - I was invincible. What got to me was a poster at school of a woman with really pruney-looking lips - apparently caused by sucking on cigarettes all day. That did it. I didn't want to look like that. Vanity trumps health any day. We think those health concerns just won't affect us. They'll happen rarely and to other people. But we see the little signs of our looks fading, and we'll latch on to anything that might help the show go on. So get the plastic out of your house quick. It's not just about your health; it's about your beauty. This time it's personal.


Ruth said...

Very interesting post and link to the G&Mail. (I liked your comment there) I hope the tin can linings will go soon. I do buy canned products but am trying to decrease my use of them. It seems impossible to lower our exposure to so many of these widely used chemicals. Due to the prevalence of hospital acquired infections, we have to use plastic gloves multiple times a day and foam sanitizers before and after every patient encounter. I often wonder about the impact of chemical exposure at the hospital.

Marie said...

I never thought of hospital exposure! I know I hold my breath a bit going by salons because whatever's in there makes my eyes water, and hospitals often have the same effect - but there it seems to be for the greater good. I can't imagine IV lines or blood or saline bags without plastic.

Right now you have to be pretty hard core to eliminate exposure - I just try to decrease it a little at a time. I'm still trying to get my guy to use a travel mug and turn off lights! If I ever figure out what motivates him to change, I can take on the world!