October 5, 2013 - More than 90 percent of people have plastic in their blood, according to Webmd, a phenomenon now linked with heart disease, obesity, infertility, miscarriages, and subtle genital deformations in baby boys.
Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and durable. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is used in protective epoxy resin coatings on canned food, water bottles, and other such products. Both can enter the human body through contact.
They can disrupt the bodys endocrine system and have negative developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Recent studies in the United States, Sweden, and Italy contradict the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines on BPAs and phthalates. They show levels of these chemicals in the blood deemed safe by the FDA may not be safe.
Efforts to live with less plastic are gaining momentum the world over due to health and environmental concerns.
On October 1, Apple launched its Beat the microbead app. Users can scan barcodes to see if products contain plastic microbeads. For example, some cosmetic products have microbeads in themplastics invisible to the human eye.
The app rates the product by color. Green is safe; orange means the producer has promised betterment; red is a no-go for people wishing to avoid microbeads.
Here are some tips on how to make small and effective lifestyle changes to live with less plastic:
1. Keep an eye out for the following plastics and avoid themyou can keep a list in your phone for easy access when reading labels: DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate) and DEP (diethyl phthalate), DEHP (di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate), BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate), DMP (dimethyl phthalate), and recycling codes 3 and 7.
Recycling code 3. (Wikimedia Commons)
2. Use the beat the micro-bead app to detect plastic in your shampoo, soap, make-up, perfume, facial products, etc. The app was originally made for the European market by an international group of environmental agencies, including the 5gyres institute.
3. Give up chewing gum. All chewing gum contains plastic.
Basketball star LeBron James blows bubbles, file photo. (Scott Gries/Getty Images)
4. Dont overheat your non-stick surfaced pan. If you heat it empty, it can reach over 500 degrees easily at which point the chemicals are freed. A singing bird will die breathing these kinds of baking fumes.
A. Darin/Epoch Times
5. Cheese is mostly plastic-wrapped. But you can find a whole wheel of cheese at a farmers market and keep it airtight in steel or glass containers or a paper or cloth wrapping in the fridge. You can also rub the cut side with olive oil to prevent it from dehydrating. If mold forms, it feeds on the oil and not the cheese, so you can just rinse it and enjoy your cheese much longer.
6. Instead of using sticky tape for gift wrapping, try furoshiki cloth wrapping techniques.
7. Avoid plastic wrappers. Make your own snacks and condiments as a way to help avoid plastic-wrapped goodstry, for example, making your own muesli bars, yogurt, ketchup, and mayonnaise.
8. Buy a real Christmas tree, or buy a cardboard, wood, or glass one instead of a toxic PVC artificial kind.
9. Use melted glass baby bottles. If you use plastic bottles, do not heat them. Heating may cause plastics and other chemicals contained in the bottle to leach or migrate into the milk.
10. Dont use plastic covers or containers in the microwave, use ceramics or paper towels instead.
11. Carry or put in your car or bicycle bags of natural material shopping bags like canvas totes. And dont forget to bring them with you when you buy food, clothing, and other products. Or.. get creative and make your own bags. One T-shirt is all it takes for 5 bags.
A creative way to make your own bags:
12. Avoid clothing made from polyester, acrylic, lycra, spandex, and nylon. These materials contain plastic.
13. Drink from reusable stainless steel mugs or ceramic mugs. Children can take drinks to school in Klean Kanteen sports bottles for kids or similar non-toxic alternatives to fruit juice containers or standard BPA plastic containers.
14. Buy unsliced bread or bake it yourself at home and keep it in an airtight bin.
15. Use (natural) bar soap instead of liquid soaps which might contain plastic microbeads. You can use them as shaving cream too.
16. Instead of using shampoo out of bottles, use baking soda and water to clean and apple cider vinegar to rinse (Or buy natural shampoo bars).
17. Use baking soda with a bit of oil as a deodorant. It works.
18. Use glass or Pyrex food containers instead of plastic.
19. Clean your house with vinegar, water, baking soda and natural scrubbers instead of using plastic packaged chemical detergents.
20. Use durable cloth sanitary napkins; you can get them online in colorful prints and all kinds of shapes and sizes.