• How to Recognize The Plastics That Can Harm You

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    Everyone knows that plastics are everywhere and it is not new to us that it can also harm our health. So here are some of the ways to know the Plastics that are most hazardous to you.  Do you best to limit using plastics as it can compromise your health and the environment!  A great read below.

    By Dr. Mercola

    Look around your home and take note of just how many plastic items are around you.  From food containers and utensils to bags, water bottles, shower curtains and children’s toys, plastic has become a permanent fixture in our everyday lives – but it’s one that comes with serious consequences.

    Approximately 200 billion pounds (that’s 100 million tons) of plastic are produced every year. Some now say we have entered the “Age of Plastics.” But all of these plastic chemicals are now finding their way into your body and the environment, where they are accumulating over time with potentially catastrophic biological consequences.

    Why You Should Check the Resin Identification Code

    It is possible to seriously cut back on the amount of plastic in your life, which I strongly recommend and give tips for below. However, for the plastics you do use it’s important to be aware of the risks they pose.

    This can be determined through a classification system called the Resin Identification Code, which is the number printed on the bottom of most plastic bottles and food containers. It describes what kind of plastic resin the product is made out of.

    The featured article compiled a breakdown of what each Resin Identification Code means, which you can use to help you make informed decisions on your plastic usage.

    Getting to Know Your Plastics: What the Numbers Mean

    plasticsPlastic #1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

    Typically used to make bottles for soft drinks, water, juice, mouthwash, sports drinks and containers for condiments like ketchup, salad dressing, jelly and jam, PET is considered safe, but it can actually leach the toxic metal antimony, which is used during its manufacture.

    One study that looked at 63 brands of bottled water produced in Europe and Canada found concentrations of antimony that were more than 100 times the typical level found in clean groundwater (2 parts per trillion).

    It also found that the longer a bottle of water sits on a shelf — in a grocery store or your refrigerator — the greater the dose of antimony present. It is believed that the amount of antimony leeching from these PET bottles differs based on exposure to sunlight, higher temperatures, and varying pH levels.

    Brominated compounds have also been found to leach into PET bottles. Bromine is known to act as a central nervous system depressant, and can trigger a number of psychological symptoms such as acute paranoia and other psychotic symptoms.

    Plastic #2: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

    HDPE, which is considered a low-hazard plastic, is often used for milk, water and juice bottles, as well as bottles for cleaning supplies and shampoo. It’s also used to make grocery bags and cereal box liners. HDPE (like most plastics) has been found to release estrogenic chemicals.

    In one study, 95 percent of all plastic products tested were positive for estrogenic activity, meaning they can potentially disrupt your hormones and even alter the structure of human cells, posing risks to infants and children. In this particular study, even products that claimed to be free of the common plastic toxicant bisphenol-A (BPA) still tested positive for other estrogenic chemicals.

    Plastic #3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

    PVC plastic can be rigid or flexible, and is commonly found in bags for bedding, shrink wrap, deli and meat wrap, plastic toys, table cloths and blister packs used to store medications.

    PVC contains toxic chemicals including DEHP, a type of phthalate used as a plastics softener. Phthalates are one of the groups of “gender-bending” chemicals causing males of many species to become more female. These chemicals have disrupted the endocrine systems of wildlife, causing testicular cancer, genital deformations, low sperm counts and infertility in a number of species, including polar bears, deer, whales and otters, just to name a few.

    Scientists believe phthalates are responsible for a similar pattern of adverse effects in humans as well. If your home contains soft, flexible plastic flooring, such as vinyl or those padded play-mat floors for kids (often used in day cares and kindergartens, too), there’s a good chance it is also made from toxic PVC. PVC flooring has been linked to chronic diseases including allergies, asthma and autism.

    Plastic #4: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

    Another plastic that is considered a low hazard, LDPE is used in bags for bread, newspapers, fresh produce, household garbage and frozen foods, as well as in paper milk cartons and hot and cold beverage cups. While LDPE does not contain BPA, it may pose risks of leaching estrogenic chemicals, similar to HDPE.


    Read full article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/11/plastic-use.aspx?x_cid=20140529_infographicimage_facebookdoc

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