Summary of Plastics- Which to Avoid?

plastic cupThe issue of plastics can be so complicated that we just throw up our hands and do nothing.  This issue is huge for the following reason: some of these plastics (BPA for one) disrupt the endocrine system which can affect your immune system, your neurological development, and put you at great risk for cancers. Without hormones, we die.  The mater gland (pituitary) sends messages to the thyroid (think energy and growth), to the ovaries and testes (think energy, growth, sexual maturation, mood etc.), to the adrenal (think ability to deal with stress and to grow) just to name a few key functions.  When chemicals like plastics are in your body (even in tiny amounts), they can either act like the hormone and mimic it’s effect or the chemical can block the effects of your natural hormones.  When your natural hormone is blocked, you may have blood tests that show normal or even high levels of hormone, but it is not working since it’s receptors are blocked.  The endocrine society recently coined the term “toxicant induced loss of tolerance” (TILT) with resulting “sensitivity related illness” (SRI). Despite this knowledge, most doctors are still treating blood tests rather than the obvious hormone imbalance that may be present.  It’s not easy to treat someone with hormones when they seem to have normal hormone levels.  In children, this becomes almost impossible as the last thing we would want would be to treat inappropriately or unnecessarily and then cause hormone problems. 

So, for children, we really are left needing to protect them from plastics at all cost.  Do whatever it takes and take this seriously.  I list below a few simple steps that one can take:

  • Buy food in glass or metal containers (canned foods are not better as they have a plastic lining).
  • Avoid heating food in plastic containers, or storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap, never microwave in plastic containers.
  • Do not give young children plastic teethers or toys.
  • Use natural fiber clothing, bedding, and furniture (the foam in old furniture that is breaking down is the most toxic of all).
  • Avoid all PVC and Styrene products.

For a summary of the different types of plastics see:

http://ecologycenter.org/factsheets/eliminate-plastic.pdf                                  

Dr. Paul

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