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”.
Trashed – the movie is out. One of the expert contributers is….
Dr Ana M Soto is a professor of cell biology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, USA, and a member of the Centre Cavailles for the study of history and philosophy of science at the Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France. Her research interests include the mechanisms of steroid hormone action, the control of cell proliferation, breast and prostate neoplasias, and endocrine disruptors. Regarding the control of cell proliferation, in collaboration with Dr Sonnenschein she developed evidence indicating that the default state of metazoan cells is proliferation. Regarding carcinogenesis, also in collaboration with Dr Sonnenschein she proposed the tissue organization field theory, which posits that cancer is a problem of tissue organization. Consequently, she is studying the role of stroma-epithelium interactions in mammary gland carcinogenesis and in tumor regression.
Regarding endocrine disruption, again in collaboration with Dr. Sonnenschein, she developed assays for detecting estrogenicity and androgenicity (E-SCREEN and A-SCREEN assays) and identified novel xenoestrogens. She is currently studying the mechanisms underlying xenoestrogen-induced alterations of the development of the female genital tract, the neuroendocrine system and the mammary gland. She has been a member of national and international advisory panels on Endocrine Disruptors and on breast cancer research. Dr Soto also works on the clarification of epistemological issues arising from the study of complex biological phenomena.
You might want to look at her work ….
In the meantime cut plastic from your diet with
the >>>A-Z<<< plastic free index.
You can find out HOW TO …do all sorts of other things… plastic free right here
You know it makes sense…..
And she is cool too…..
B.P.A. Soup thats gross.
I am so glad I boycott tin cans
PVC is one of the cheaper plastics and consequently widely used.
PVC is a polymer – a large molecule created by linking together smaller molecules.
It is a combination of oil and chlorine. Chlorine is a salt, the same salt you use in the kitchen.
Over 50% of the weight of PVC comes from chlorine which means PVC requires less petroleum than many other polymers.
It is a thermoplastic material. It will melt when heated to a certain temperatures and harden when it cools.
It is naturally rigid but can be made flexible with the addition of more chemicals including phthalates.
PVC can be used in either form – hard or soft and is used as an insulator and coating for electrical cables, packaging, cling film, bottles, credit cards, audio records and imitation leather window frames, pipes, flooring, car interiors and to make medical disposables.
PVC is used massively in the building industry. Most water pipes are now made from PVC. They replace metal pipes that were less adaptable, more easily damaged and a lot more expensive.
PVC is known as the “poison plastic” because:
- Toxic chemicals are used in its creation.One of those is vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). VCM is a gas and a known carcinogen causing cancerous tumors in the brain, lungs, liver and various tissues in humans.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a chlorinated plastic.
- Dioxins are unintentionally, but unavoidably produced during the manufacture of materials containing chlorine like PVC
- Dioxin is a known human carcinogen and the most potent synthetic carcinogen ever tested in laboratory animals.
- Burning these plastics can release dioxins.
Safe or lethal? The debate….
Toxic chemicals are most certainly used in its creation one of those is vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). VCM is a gas and a known carcinogen causing cancerous tumors in the brain, lungs, liver and various tissues in humans.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), found that early-era PVC (manufactured before 1977) could leach VCM into drinking water to levels that exceed the maximum contaminant level of 2 micrograms per liter of water.
Dioxins, which are lethal, are released if PVC is burnt in a low temperature fire such as an open fire or house fire.
The green movement argue that the toxins used to make PVC endanger those who work in the industry and can pollute the environment. They also claim that the toxins continue to leach out over the products lifetime putting the user at risk.
Supporters of PVC say that in the beginning manufacturers did not realise the dangers of VCM and since regulations were put in place in the 1970s those dangers have been minimised. They also claim that now the product is safe for users the chemicals are inert and no leaching has been detected.
If PVC is disposed of properly, then there is no risk of dioxins being released. Though of course this does not answer for house fires.
The argument is made more complex when phthalates are involved. Phthalates are a group of chemicals added to PVC (amongst other things), to make it more flexible. These chemicals are toxins and are not bound to the plastic. This means they are able to migrate out of plastic into the surrounding environment. That they do this is fairly well established. Whether they do so in amounts that could be dangerous or not, is not so clear cut – but I bet you can guess which side believes what.
For an interesting summary of the debate read this article from Mother Earth News
This is from a man who works with PVC in his family business
And this is from Greenpeace
There’s lots more on the different plastics and what they are used for HERE
Find out about all plastic, the boycott and us here
Back in the early days of the boycott I didn’t think of glass jars as an issue – after all they wasn’t plastic so it wasn’t a problem.
Of course it was you numbskull.
Look at the lids – that white sticky stuff – the seal? That’s plastic that is…
So I try not to use jars except for
Tomatoes – compromise
Gherkins – pickled and olives
Things I have learnt to make are
I am sure these lists will grow……
I did rather wonder what the plastic was on the inside of my lids and Googling around and I found this from the containers and packaging site
“Plastisol liners are one method that helps seal metal closures onto containers. Plastisol is a PVC gasket that is used in metal continuous thread and lug (sometimes called twist) closures. It is normally applied to metal lids in a ring shape on the inside of the lid at the point where it will match up with the landing of the bottle.
Plastisol material starts out as a solid. After being heated properly, Plastisol becomes liquidus and forms around the landing of the container that is being sealed. When the material cools it begins to cure, or solidifies, which then creates a tight vacuum seal.”
PVC? Not sure I like that idea what this the poisons and such!
Lots more information here on the poison PVC debate
Different plastics and what they are used for, can be found here HERE
Find out more about plastic, the boycott and us here
You can find out HOW TO …do all sorts of other things… plastic free right here
For more plastic free products go to the >>>A-Z<<< plastic free index.
A month ago I emailed a lot of people about plastic lined tin cans. Why? Because increasing numbers of people are worried about the potential health risks of Bisphenol A (BPA) leaching from the liner into the food. I suggested my friends might want to check whether the food they were eating came from plastic lined cans – and then tell me the results so I could compile a clean can list.
Well…..the results were interesting. Many people assumed (including me) that the white liner seen in some cans was plastic therefore those without the white liner were plastic free. Hienz for example came in regularly as plastic free. So I checked up and phoned their customer help line – all their products have a BPA lining.
In fact as I now know nearly all tin cans and all aluminium cans are BPA lined and have been since the 50s. The liner can be white or yellow or transparent in which case it is undetectable.
As a result – in most cases it is best to assume that your can has a plastic liner and that it contains BPA.
However some companies are bucking the trend
Native Forest -coconut milk Organic mango chunks, papaya chunks and tropical fruit salad are now packed in non-BPA cans, as are most of our canned pineapple items. “ We are currently in the process of converting all Native Forest items to non-BPA cans, but we are not there yet.”
Ecofish brand tuna ect and Vital Choice are also BPA FREE….
Oregon‘s Choice Gourmet 6 oz. lightly salted Albacore and come next canning season “we will be phasing in BPA free cans for more of our products. Our goal is to have everything canned in the BPA free cans within two years.
Wild Planet canned tuna at Whole Foods - On the can it reads “Can Certified BPA Free.”
Eden: Company says they DO use BPA in tomato cans. However, organic bean cans do NOT contain BPA.
Canned items in our stores WITH BPA lining in the cans would include: tomatoes, tomato sauce & paste, soups, chili, and stew.
Canned items in our stores that DO NOT have BPA lining in the cans include:
seafood (tuna, salmon, herring, sardines, etc.), chicken, turkey & beef and now beans and corn. All of our products and packaging are within food safety guidelines and regulations. However, we also wanted to inform you that we do not have any plastic packaging with BPA.
COCA COLA is not only defending BPA as safe but is spending millions of dollars lobbying and publicizing it’s safety to prevent regulations restricting it’s use. Please call and voice your opinion.1-800-get-coke ext 2
The above information has been adapted from a post on Organic Graces blog but can also be found on
Treehugger who have a good write up on (the same) companies who are using BPA free cans
Plastic Lined Tins
Organic Grace has gone one step further and quoted a customer who had spoken “directly to the companies listed below and they all said they use BPA as a chemical component in the lining of their food cans”.
Bush Brothers & Co (known for their Bush’s Beans brand)
Swanson division of Campbells
Libby’s, Nestle, Carnation (different divisions of the same co)
Con Agra (Ex:Rosarita brand refried beans).
S&W Organic said they do have trace amounts of bp-A in their cans.
(the one with the bunny) is using BPA in the epoxy lining but says they are looking into alternatives.
This is a people driven list so feel free to add to it. I have added
Hienz - I spoke to them personally to confirm that they use BPA linings in their products.
More on BPA here and all over the internet.
- BPA Free Canning Lids Now Available From Tattler (treehugger.com)
- Bisphenol Found In Overwhelming Majority Of Canadians (lockergnome.com)
- Statscan survey finds BPA present in 91 per cent of Canadians (theglobeandmail.com)
- Waiter, There’s BPA in My Soup (via Food Freedom) (wilderside.wordpress.com)
- Heinz meanz plastic jars for Beanz (greenreview.blogspot.com)
Every piece of plastic that’s ever been made still exists – and here’s some of it in the harbour at the Port Edgar marina, ground up nice and fine. Birds can be killed by this, they mistake it for food.
There were also dozens of the latest menace: the plastic sticks from cotton buds.
Words and image were taken from the Plastic Is Rubbish photo pool – a yahoo group illustrating the problems of plastic pollution world wide. Got any nasty shots? Feel free to dive right in.
Check out my latest wheeze – I am putting together a visual world map of plastic trash ON FACEBOOK. Its called Planet Trash and the aim as ever is to raise awareness of this particularly nasty and insidious form of pollution . Feel free to add your own rubbish pictures to the pool of filth.
Want to cut down on your plastic rubbish? Find plastic free products with the A-Z plastic free index
Bisphenol A or BPA is it is known to its chums is used in polycarbonate plastics. These include the hard plastic which look like glass but doesnt break as dramatically, the white plastic liners found in many cans, microwave ovenware, eating utensils and bottles (including baby bottles).
Plastic containing BPA are labeled with the number “7” identification code, BUT not all plastics labeled 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 namely polymerized to form polycarbonate plastic used to make the 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 releases hormones into whatever product it comes into contact with – with frightening results.
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. Consequently consumer and green groups are becoming vociferous in their opposition to BPA.
To conclude BPA can leach into food from the epoxy linings in cans or from polycarbonate bottles. The rate increases if the containers are heated ie babies bottle being sterilised or a tin being heated.
BPA is 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.
BUT others say it is completely safe and that the safety levels for BPA in humans are set so high you would have to eat a mountain of contaminated food before they were even approached
This too is a good site very clear – more on BPA
Wickipedia has a list of reports into BPA here
This site has a list of recent articles about BPA but is very much against the product which may be worth remembering when reading. As this site points out much of the supposed science is certainly not conclusive.
For other articles try here
Personally, I feel I have quite enough of my own, home made estrogen to be going on with. I choose avoid BPA where ever possible.
“As staunch supporters of the anti-BPA campaign we were very pleased to see coverage in the British media last Friday of a new report linking BPA to breast cancer. The Daily Mail and the BBC both featured articles about Professor Anna Soto, an expert in cancer development ar the University of Ulster, who has recently carried out research on BPA . She is warning that BPA can trigger toxins which lead to cancer after discovering that foetal and neonatal exposure to the chemical increases the likelihood of development of malignant tumours later in life.
To read this artice in full including up to date reports from the BBC go to baby born free of baby born free feeding bottles. to quote the website “BornFree’s award winning leak proof BPA-Free baby bottles come in plastic (PES) or glass and feature an anti-colic vent designed for comfortable and safe feeding.”
Find out more about BPA “here