Synthetic fibers are the most popular fibers in the world - 65% of the world’s production of fibers are synthetic, and 35% are natural fibers. (1) Fully 70% of those synthetic fibers are polyester. There are many different types of polyester, but the type most often produced for use in textiles is polyethylene terephthalate, abbreviated PET. Used in a fabric, it’s most often referred to as “polyester” or “poly”.
B.P.A. Soup thats gross.
I am so glad I boycott tin cans
“Many consumers already look for commercial products that do not contain Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenically active compound that some manufacturers use for creating plastics and which leaches out of products over time (estrogenically active compounds are suspected to lead to birth defects, cancers and other health problems).
But BPA is only part of the story. For their study, the research team tested more than 500 BPA-free consumer products for other estrogenically active chemicals and found that 92 percent of the products readily leached the potentially hazardous compounds. Leaching was more common when products experienced ordinary stresses like dishwashing, microwaving and exposure to sunlight.”
- Study: Health Risks from All Plastics May Spur Innovation (blogs.forbes.com)
- Barbara Ficarra: Are Plastic Bottles Toxic? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Producing Safer Plastics (usnews.com)
- Risks Associated with Bisphenol A in Baby Bottles (education.com)
Find plastic free stuff with the A-Z plastic free index
leaching into your food………
The researchers bought more than 450 plastic items from stores including Walmart and Whole Foods. They chose products designed to come in contact with food — things like baby bottles, deli packaging and flexible bags, says George Bittner, one of the study’s authors and a professor of biology at the University of Texas, Austin.
Then CertiChem, a testing company founded by Bittner, chopped up pieces of each product and soaked them in either saltwater or alcohol to see what came out.
The testing showed that more than 70 percent of the products released chemicals that acted like estrogen. And that was before they exposed the stuff to real-world conditions: simulated sunlight, dishwashing and microwaving,
read more here
Bisphenol A or BPA is it is known to its chums is used in polycarbonate plastics. These include
- that hard plastic which look like glass but doesn’t break as dramatically,
- the white plastic liners found in many cans, microwave oven ware, eating utensils and bottles (including baby bottles).
- Plastics labelled with the number “7” identification code. HOWEVER not all plastics labelled with the number “7” contain BPA. The number “7” code is assigned to the “Other” category, which includes all plastics not otherwise assigned to categories 1-6.
The chemical was invented in the 1930s during the search for synthetic estrogens. Diethylstilbestrol was found to be a more powerful estrogen, so bisphenol A was put to other uses. It was polymerized to form polycarbonate plastic and used to make a wide range of products including those listed above.
Over the years there have been an increasing number of claims that the polymer is not stable. That, over time, BPA breaks down over time and releases hormones into whatever product it comes into contact with. Research has indeed proved that BPA can leach into food from the epoxy linings in cans or from polycarbonate bottles, and that the rate increases if the containers are heated i.e. babies bottle being sterilised or a tin being heated.
However additional studies are now suggesting that the ingestion of leached BPA could be harmful. In March 1998 for example a study in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) found that BPA simulates the action of estrogen when tested in human breast cancer cells. A more recent study published in EHP shows a significant decrease of testosterone in male rats exposed to low levels of BPA. The study concludes that the new data is significant enough to evaluate the risk of human exposure to BPA.
BPA is now considered by many to be a hormone disruptor, a chemical that alters the body’s normal hormonal activity.
In the last 10-15 years that concerns have been raised over its safety, particularly during pregnancy and for young babies.
In April 2008, the United States Department of Health and Human Services expressed concerns about it.
The Canadian government have just banned listed it a toxic substance and banned it from being used in baby bottles.
The following chart was taken from the very informative and interesting Wikkipedia article but you can find the same information all over the internet
Low dose exposure in animals
|Dose (µg/kg/day)||Effects (measured in studies of mice or rats,descriptions (in quotes) are from Environmental Working Group)||Study Year|
|0.025||“Permanent changes to genital tract”||2005|
|0.025||“Changes in breast tissue that predispose cells to hormones and carcinogens”||2005|
|1||long-term adverse reproductive and carcinogenic effects||2009|
|2||“increased prostate weight 30%”||1997|
|2||“lower bodyweight, increase of anogenital distance in both genders, signs of early puberty and longer estrus.”||2002|
|2.4||“Decline in testicular testosterone”||2004|
|2.5||“Breast cells predisposed to cancer”||2007|
|10||“Prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer”||2006|
|10||“Decreased maternal behaviors”||2002|
|30||“Reversed the normal sex differences in brain structure and behavior”||2003|
|50||Adverse neurological effects occur in non-human primates||2008|
|50||Disrupts ovarian development||2009|
So why the hell is BPA still being used you might ask- while checking your pants nervously and belting the kids.
Because the science is by no means conclusive. It has become something of a cause with consumer and green groups who are vociferous in their opposition. Media reporting tends to concentrate on the negative aspects of any new reports. Yet several scientific panels, including the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Food, the National Toxicology Program and the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, have all concluded that the claims that low doses of BPA affect human health have not (yet ), been substantiated. While accepting that animal testing has produced adverse results they can find no concrete evidence that humans will react the same way.
And even if they do, the amounts of BPA we ingest are so minimal as to be negligible.
The current U.S. human exposure limit set by the EPA is 50 µg/kg/day.
Which means, as the BPA industry’s voice over at to bishenol-a.org, puts it
“Based on the results of the SPI study, the estimated dietary intake of BPA from can coatings is less than 0.00011 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day. This level is more than 450 times lower than the maximum acceptable or “reference” dose for BPA of 0.05 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”
Which means an adult would have to eat 230 kilograms of canned food and beverages every day of their life to exceed the safe level of BPA set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
As the toxicologists love to say – it’s not the poison but the dose…..
However, what is certain is that BPA is a $6 billion plus global industry. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 940,000 tons of BPA are produced in the U.S. per year. About 21% is used in epoxy resins and most of the rest goes to polycarbonate. You can find out more here
- Global Epoxy Resins Market to Reach 1.93 Million Tons by 2015, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (prweb.com)
Whatever the final conclusions, I feel I have quite enough of my own, home-made estrogen to be going on with. I choose avoid BPA where ever possible.
I limit food from tins, drink from cans and don’t use plastic food containers.
How To Boycott Plastic
Find plastic-free products with the
Read up about plastic & the boycott here
Whats in plastic might cost you your lady lumps. Not a nice subject I know but check out this breast cancer website – it might help you keep your bits.
Downloaded from Flickr theres this from the trash detective – check out the rest of his photos
I’m not sure I can “have a nice day” if there is this much Styrofoam in the garbage. Read more about why Polystyrene is hazardous to your health and to the environment ask rosie
#1 PETE plastic water bottles have been shown to leach antimony into water. A recent study conducted by University of Heidelberg researcher Bill Shotyk, and published in the January 2006 Journal of Environmental Monitoring, found antimony levels in PETE water bottles were higher than levels found where the water was sourced. According to Shotyk, consumers should not be concerned about drinking water bottled in PETE plastic, as the levels found in water are below safe drinking standards. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that leaving water in any plastic bottle for a prolonged period of time allows for chemical leaching to occur.
Taken from the thegreenguide click here to visit
Can you burn plastic?
Well it never burns easily – it melts and bubbles. It will burn eventually but you have to keep heating it – click here if you want to know why.
And, when you do set fire to plastic it gives off a terrible smell – at least in my experience, as a child, playing round the back of the derelict garages I hasten to add.
But is it bad for you? It could be lethal.
The smell according to the naked scientist could be anything. They say
It could be just a simple hydrocarbon, or it could contain cyanides, or PCB’s, or lots of other substances. Without knowing what the plastic was …..it would be difficult to know what are the likely volatiles it would create…. volatiles given off from plastics in house fires are a major cause of death.”
So, to conclude, it depends on the plastic then?
Yes it is apparently safe to burn polythene – it can even be reprocessed as briquettes to make a very efficient fuel (ifenergy).
But it’s a big NO if its a halogenated plastics, i.e one of those made from chlorine or fluorine
Halogenated plastics include:
Chlorine based plastics:
Chlorinated polyethylene (CPE)
Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC)
Chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE)
Polychloroprene (CR or chloroprene rubber, marketed under the brand name of Neoprene)
Fluorine based plastics:
Fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP)
Burning these plastics can release dioxins. Dioxins are unintentionally, but unavoidably produced during the manufacture of materials containing chlorine, including PVC and other chlorinated plastic feedstocks.
Dioxin is a known human carcinogen and the most potent synthetic carcinogen ever tested in laboratory animals. A characterization by the National Institute of Standards and Technology of cancer causing potential evaluated dioxin as over 10,000 times more potent than the next highest chemical (diethanol amine), half a million times more than arsenic and a million or more times greater than all others.
The World Health Organization said
“Once dioxins have entered the environment or body, they are there to stay due to their uncanny ability to dissolve in fats and to their rock-solid chemical stability.”
Its best not to be burning plastic on an open fire unless you know exactly what it is made up of.
There are some plastics that are supposed to be safe to burn.
Personally I won’t be burning plastic on my bonfire.
But is it safe to send off to my local waste disposal plant where they burn it in an incinerator?
It is claimed that all plastics can be burnt safely in the modern industrial incinerators – but only those built to high specifications.
Opinions vary wildly as to wether this is the case with environmentalists saying we are poisoning the very air that we breathe.
Many of these plants generate electricity from the heat produced so in effect the plastic is recycled.
The resulting ash from incineration plants has to be disposed of and so presnets yet another waste disposal challenge.
For more information go to
Waste Plastic Blogspot about the technology behind waste incinerators.
Zero Waste America a crtiqua of waste incinerators.
Burning Bins the problems of trash being burnt on open fires
The Uk Government states on their website
Burning plastic, rubber or painted materials creates poisonous fumes and can have damaging health effects for people who have asthmatic or heart conditions.
This is covered under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Want to cut down on more of your plastic rubbish? –
Check out these plastic-free products sourced as part of our plastic boycott and listed in the Plastic-free Resource Index
When you eat or drink things stored in plastic, wear plastic, sit on plastic, taste it, smell it, and so on, plastic is incorporated into you.
There is a bi-directional communication between plastic and things that contact it, meaning that plastic gets into the food, and food gets into the plastic, as well as you.
So, when you eat the things that plastic contacts, quite literally, it becomes you. In other words, you are what you eat. . . drink. . . and breathe. . . plastic!
What’s so bad about having plastic in you and on you?
Two things make it hazardous.
First, plastic is made by combining many toxic synthetic man-made chemicals by a process called polymerization. The plastics industry tells us that this process binds the toxic chemicals together so tightly that they are no longer toxic to us. But they don’t tell us that the polymerization process is never 100% perfect. It always leaves some of those toxic chemicals available to migrate out of the plastic product and into whatever contacts it—your food, you, air, water, and so on.
Secondly, many of these chemicals not only cause cancer, but also disrupt the normal functioning of the endocrine system of most animals, including humans. They have been given the name endocrine disruptors. These toxic man-made chemicals have been shown to be accumulating in the bodies of both humans and the animals we eat.
Hormones act in single digit part/per/trillion (PPT) concentrations, and have an effect on virtually every bodily function. The effects of disrupting the normal activities of hormones can be devastating and permanent. The industry answer to the warnings of environmentalists is that the toxic chemicals that make up plastics do not come out.
Once understand that you are aware of the fact that those toxicants always migrate from all plastics, then they change their tune and say that it happens at extremely low levels that cause no harm, and that the migration happens well below the regulatory limits. On that point they are mostly right, but they wrote the regulations and eased them into law through political contributions.
There is more detail on this below, but understand that there are no regulations that protect anyone or thing from the PPT concentrations that do get into our food, water, air, and bodies. One thing to remember when reading this is that a great deal of the harm caused by plastics cannot be repaired. The damage is permanent.