Recent data from Norway show 90% of people tested had at least eight different plasticizers in their body, and most tested positive for BPA, triclosan and parabens.
Plasticizers are used in food packaging and personal care products but are loosely bound so they can easily leak; studies show ingestion of plastic materials can start in infancy.
Health issues associated with plastic ingestion are related to their powerful hormone disruption capacity and include feminization of males, miscarriage, infertility and low levels of vitamin D
While it’s virtually impossible to steer clear of all sources, you can minimize your exposure by keeping some key principles in mind. Start the process slowly and make the changes a habit in your life so they stick.
- Avoid plastic containers and plastic wrap for food and personal care products. Store food and drinks in glass containers instead.
- Avoid plastic children’s toys. Use toys made of natural substances, such as wood and organic materials.
- Read labels on your cosmetics and avoid those containing phthalates.
- Avoid products labeled with “fragrance,” including air fresheners, as this catch-all term may include phthalates commonly used to stabilize the scent and extend the life of the product. Read labels looking for PVC-free products, including children’s lunch boxes, backpacks and storage containers.
- Do not microwave food in plastic containers or covered in plastic wrap.
- Frequently vacuum and dust rooms with vinyl blinds, wallpaper, flooring and furniture that may contain phthalates, as the chemical collects in dust and is easily ingested by children and can settle on your food plates.
- Ask your pharmacist if your prescription pills are coated to control when they dissolve as the coating may contain phthalates.
- Eat mostly fresh, raw whole foods. Packaging is often a source of phthalates.
- Use glass baby bottles instead of plastic. Breastfeed exclusively for the first year if you can, to avoid plastic nipples and bottles altogether.
- Remove your fruit and vegetables from plastic bags immediately after coming home from the grocery store and wash before storing them; alternatively, use cloth bags to bring home your produce.
- Cash register receipts are heat printed and often contain BPA Handle the receipt as little as possible and ask the store to switch to BPA free receipts.
- Use natural cleaning products or make your own.
- Replace feminine hygiene products with safer alternatives.
- Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets; make your own to reduce static cling.
- Check your home’s tap water for contaminants and filter the water if necessary.
- Teach your children not to drink from the garden hose, as many contain plasticizers such as phthalates.
- Use reusable shopping bags for groceries.
- Take your own leftovers container to restaurants.
- Avoid disposable utensils and straw
- Bring your own mug for coffee and bring drinking water from home in glass water bottles instead of buying bottled water.
- Consider switching to bamboo toothbrushes and brushing your teeth with coconut oil and baking soda to avoid plastic toothpaste tubes.