Friday, September 16, 2005

Don't Drink Out of That Bottle!

I think that our desire to detoxify really got started when MaGreen was listening to a show on a local radio station about poisons leaching from plastic into water and food. The radio station, 90.1 KPFT, is an affiliate of the Pacifica network. According to the person hosting the show, we are constantly ingesting dangerous poisons. The only reason we don’t know about it, she claimed, is because the plastics industry funds all kinds of studies to clear its products and the big media outlets do not want to upset their advertisers by running stories about poisons in plastic. MaGreen came home that day visibly upset.

“Even our food processor is made of plastic,” MaGreen said. We just bought the thing and MaGreen loved to prepare food with it, but it is made mostly of plastic. “We can’t use the plastic leftover containers either,” she went on, “and don’t drink out of those water bottles at work.”

I was alarmed too, but I immediately became defensive. The Pacifica radio station often disseminates excellent information, but some of the shows purport debatable ideas as unquestionable truths. For example, the “Whole Mother” show is anti-immunization and claims that immunizations always harm children. I think routine immunizations have saved millions upon millions of children’s lives.

Miah went on the internet to do some research and I did too. A number of studies have shown that bisphenol A, which is widely found in plastic containers, leaches out into liquids and foods. Moreover, this chemical can affect the development of the brain and the reproductive system. It resembles estrogen. The LA Times ran a story on the subject April 13, 2005. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives published a review article that prompted the news coverage, but I haven’t had a chance to read it or find the citation.

Even if the whole plastics scare is unjustified, cutting plastic out of your life isn’t like not immunizing your child. It doesn’t put anyone at risk to use glass containers instead of plastic ones. So both of us agreed that at the least, we'll spring for $20 of glass tupperware. But we still have several questions:

How can you really get rid of ALL the plastic in the kitchen? Can we still use our food processor? How bad is the plastic for you really? Are the alternatives worse? If I am in the desert dying of thirst and I find a plastic Ozarka bottle, should I drink from it or should I drink my own urine until I reach a natural oasis?

2 comments:

Jack Bunnae said...

Here is a link to an article regarding bisphenol A in the August 2005 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives:
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2005/7713/7713.html

Environmental Health Perspectives [EHP] is currently funded and published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences [NIEHS]. The entire budget of EHP is less than 1/2 of 1% of all of NIEHS's budget. Even so, the new director of NIEHS wants to stop funding EHP and "privatize" it. It is generally accepted that EHP would not survive "privatization". If you are interested in seeing EHP continue to provide useful information (such as the bisphenol A studies) to the public, please reply to the request for comments at:
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/external/ehp/home.htm

Thanks

odysseylexus said...

Here's another link on popular baby bottles leaching
bisphenol A into liquids and food:

http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/reports/environmental-health/environmental-health-reports/toxic-baby-bottles