Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items In Fibers
Being concerned about anything toxic affecting me medically, I have been being quite careful in a variety of things in my life.
One of the biggest areas to be concerned about is PLASTICS - because there still seems to be a lot that is either unknown or not fully researched or in research in the subject of PLASTICS - and what toxins they put in your foods, drinks or environment.
Being Smart About PLASTICS means keeping oneself informed.
This guide from pbs.org in PDF form is quite useful as far as the different types of plastics that you can find, especially as regards food packaging:
But you need to keep up somehow on what research is going on - I tend to check with certain organizations and individuals who I have quite a bit of trust in, because, unfortunately, there is false data in the world. Not being a chemist or other kind of scientist, I am not capable of evaluating the accuracy of research or testing - or evaluations by individuals. I try to get to the basic article written by the person doing the research or testing - or an article at least quoting them.
Most recently there is an article on the Internet about the possibility found in testing mineral water in PET plastic bottles (plastic #1) of an estrogen-mimicing chemical. This plastic has been previously considered to be safe and is also recyclable.
Here is the article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090312.BOTTLES12/TPStory/Environment
It quotes someone from the University where testing has shown "...consistent contamination of bottled water with a hormonally active substance leaching from PET, one of the world's most popular packaging materials." Another scientist who has done research on BPA's is quoted in the same article stating "...he worries about exposures to synthetic estrogens because they add to the natural female hormones already in people."
So, basically now I am worried.
It is kind of humorous - I have already been avoiding these PET bottles of water by using my own resusable water bottles (now stainless steel or glass ones) for environmental reasons -- it is better for the environment to not have to make and constantly recycle these bottles when you can reuse your own bottles. See my earlier post on "Breaking the Bottled Water Habit". Now, it appears that it may also be good to avoid them for health reasons, so I am going to continue avoiding them and more than before. I don't want to take the risks.
Reading and using the "By Number Guide to Plastics" may really be a good thing to do -- I recommend it both for health and environmental reasons.
There is so much PLASTIC out there in the food packaging business.
Based on what I have read including this article I read in 2005, http://deliciouslivingmag.com/greenliving/dl_article_1527/ , there are all kinds of reasons to avoid all kinds of plastics.
But I strongly urge everyone to especially watch out for the following:
1. Styrofoam cups for hot drinks like coffee and tea -- some restaurants still use them - they are made of styrene, which leaches into the hot drinks. It is plastic #6 and if you look on the bottom of the cup, it will have a triangle with a "6" in it. I am studiously avoiding such now.
2. Plastic bottles of what are considered healthy drinks, such as soy milk, I have seen in BPA plastic bottles. This plastic will have a triangle with a "7" on it. I found a bottle of Vitasoy soy milk in such a bottle. Not buying those any more.
Several Senators, including one of my own - California Senator Dianne Feinstein - are proposing a law banning BPA in all food and beverage containers. I read about it here: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/41215752.html .
It is also in the Recent Headlines as of Sunday, March 15, 2009 on Senator Dianne Feinstein's own website: http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/
-- and here is the Press Release from her website: http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=NewsRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=01832CD5-5056-8059-76DB-C984D14B7FCE
I hope all food manufacturers stop using Plastics 3, 6 and 7 right away.
Maybe they will eventually have to stop using Plastic 1, too.
I guess we will see.
In the meantime -- you can take steps yourself and use your own reusable bottles for drinks - waters and teas. Some places will let you use your own bottles to get water or cold teas -- or use your own hot cups to get hot coffee and hot tea. I know some that do in my life: the Cafe at the Palmdale Transportation Center and the Plaza Deli and Grill in the UCLA Westwood Medical Plaza -- when I have asked at both, they were very nice about it and said yes.
So, for your own health -- and the health of our planet and our environment, be smart about PLASTICS -- AND GET YOUR OWN REUSABLE BOTTLES, SUCH AS AT HERE:
I got my stainless steel water bottle at Walgreens, but I don't know if they always have them!!
And don't forget recycling all the PLASTIC that you can!!