We Are Not Crazy – Plastic Is a Problem!

by

photo by Johan Elisson.

photo by Johan Elisson.

Why these opinions are not posted as comments I don’t know, but this week I received two emails disagreeing with my post on Sigg water bottles. I actually was writing about the way Sigg handled the revelation that Sigg bottles had contained BPA, not saying the bottles themselves were dangerous. As I pointed out in the post, I use them and continue to use them. One of the emails took me to task for other posts, like the ones I have written about Teflon in frying pans. I am thinking of putting a notice on my Contact page that says if I think an email is relevant to a post, I will copy and post it as a comment, leaving out the emailer’s name or other identifying information. Too many emails that I get are never seen by anyone else. Often these emails are well thought out and contain opinions that would add valuable content to this site. The way things work now, I am left to write about some of these emails rather than posting them for all to see. One possible drawback to this plan is that if people know that I might post their email as a comment, they may decide not to send the email. In that case I don’t get to see their feedback at all.

To address those that think people like me are relatives of Chicken Little saying the sky is falling, I say wake up and smell the roses, plastics. Whether it is that new car smell, Teflon on your cookware, BPA in your baby bottles or formula, plastic in your water bottles, or any number of other exposures to these endocrine disrupting chemicals, research is showing there are indeed dangers to be concerned about. Recent studies even show that some of these chemicals are more damaging in trace amounts then they are in large amounts. That old saying that “the poison is in the dose” is proving to not always be correct.  In addition, some of the effects these chemical have on animals are being shown to pass on to offspring and future generations.  Just this past Saturday, I wrote a short post about how the effects of pesticides on rats can last generations, even adversely affecting rats who themselves had no direct exposure to the pesticides.

So we are smart to be concerned.  Some of us may choose to take steps like not using Teflon coated cookware or we may choose to eat only organic vegetables whenever possible.  Other people may not alter their habits at all.  But the fact remains that the detrimental effects of all these chemicals on humans are real.  Any time we can prompt a manufacturer to remove a dangerous chemical from one of their products, we should do so.  Even if they could show that no leaching occurs, Sigg took the right step by eliminating BPA from their bottles.  They may have messed up a bit on the public relations end of the situation, but the bottles are now BPA free and that is a win for consumers.  Now the problem is that I still have nagging concerns about any number of other chemicals in plastic.  It may not be easy to know what to do but the more knowledge we have about our exposure to man-made chemicals, the more informed our decisions can be.

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Will Sig
1 Dennis the Vizsla

Good point about the e-mails. Use comments, people, that’s what they’re for!

We switched to stainless steel cookware a while back to get away from Teflon, and my wife keeps her water in glass containers now instead of plastic. I still have my polycarbonate water bottle at work though.

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2 Anna

Yeah just those non stick stuff really works, lol, how can you not resist. But I am trying to use more glass and more s steal in my cooking.

So Will you get lot of emails, I guess some don’t like their opinions to be public, lol. You may scare them too with your comment to move email to comment and make a public.

Anna 🙂
.-= Anna´s last blog ..What Garlic is to Salad, Insanity is to Art =-.

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3 Bumbles

Isn’t that interesting that people often comment to you directly via e-mail instead of here? Are the messages long? Maybe they feel they have too much to say and don’t want to create a post long comment? I often communicate back and forth via e-mail with our commenters – but it most always starts with their public comment on one of our posts and every now and then I’ll reply via e-mail which engages us in a personal conversation. I’ve not had people e-mail us instead of commenting though.

As for the whole plastic debate, I like to be as informed as possible and then make whatever decisions I feel are best for me and mine. If I think it’s a bunch of hooey that’s my risk to take. If I think it’s a serious threat, I have the info. I need to make different decisions. Thanks for keeping me better informed :0)
.-= Bumbles´s last blog ..ON BLOGGING ~ All Apologies… =-.

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4 Snowcatcher

I, too, appreciate being better informed, and in a sensible manner, too. In my opinion, you don’t rant and rave. You present facts clearly, and that’s why I keep coming back.
.-= Snowcatcher´s last blog ..Fingerprint Friday =-.

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5 solarglobalgreen

I think what we need is further research so that people can have all of the information to make choices about these products. Personally I do not think there has been sufficient oversight into these chemicals traditionally and therefore I choose to avoid these products.

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6 Will

Yeah more research is probably good, but you are smart to use common sense and avoid exposure as much as possible.

This site has always received direct emails with questions, but also some that really are comments and should be on the post for everyone’s benefit.

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7 Stephen Settle

Taking such hard core steps is difficult for everyone, but if everyone of us will try small small things it will make a big impact.

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8 Cool Garden Things

Oh boy! You don’t have to convince me! I always tell my daughter don’t microwave anything in plastic…we are trying not to use bottled water! Ugh I wish we had never even had in the first place and it would be so much easier to get away from:)
gartengrl
.-= Cool Garden Things´s last blog ..Great Ground Cover Suggestions For A Northern Garden =-.

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9 Joseph Condron

That is a great idea. I may adopt it myself in the future.

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10 Keith

Plastic is a problem in the environment. The evidence supports such a belief. Plastic is also a problem inside the human body. These compounds mimic hormones that can lead to all sorts of diseases.

I agree with the poster who enjoys your lack of ranting and raving. Your rational voice always adds to the discussion.

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11 Will

Thanks Keith! 🙂

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12 Anthony Samsel

You are not crazy. Although the use of the plasticizer BPA is declining, a more insidious problem still lurks in plastics, PBDE, AKA Polybrominated diphenyl-ether and Antimony trioxide. PBDE’s and Antimony trioxide are combined to make a flame retardant system used in 90% of plastics made in the USA & China.

Food and drink containers, mattresses, carpeting, clothing, electronics and a host of other consumer products are loaded with this dangerous flame retardant system.

In the early seventies I worked on a project at Arthur D Little, Inc. Cambridge , MA. where this flame retardant system was developed. In 1969 NASA lost an Astronaut team in a tragic launch pad fire. NASA awarded ADL a contract to develop a flame retardant system for space clothing.

The flame retardant system comprising Decabromodiphenylether and Antimony trioxide was added to Spandex to fire proof space clothing. It was never intended to be in worldwide use as we new it’s toxicity. The heads of Product Development at ADL ignored my concerns about it’s safety. Their only focus was to solve NASA’s problem with space clothing.

Shortly thereafter the flame retardant system was marketed to the plastics industry and other manufacturing sectors of private industry including the National Fire Protection Agency.
This flame retardant system contains up to 60% Antimony trioxide and is a known endocrine system disruptor.

Liver, Kidney, Bladder, Lung diseases, sexual dysfunction and an inability to metabolize fat are associated with these materials.
A laboratory study on mice found that ingesting this flame retardant system inhibited the metabolism of fat causing obesity. Test animals increased fatty tissue from exposure and gained weight.

Interesting is a look at the world consumption of Antimony Trioxide from the mid to late 1970’s (when this flame retardant system was introduced ) to the present. A graph of millions of tons of Antimony Trioxide shows a continuous upward curve that is similar to the obesity curve for the same time period.

Virtually all plastics contain this flame retardant system. Liquids packaged in plastic become contaminated from the Antimony Trioxide & PBDE’s. Water bottles, juice drinks, milk, cooking oils, cans lined with plastic, mayo, salad dressings etc.
WARNING: these materials are bio-cumulative and should be avoided.
Best regards and good health to all,
Anthony Samsel retired Hazardous Chemical Materials Consultant for Arthur D. Lttle, Inc.

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13 Tony McGurk

Love the photo. We are slowly poisoning ourselves. The thing I always think is that we used to get by without all this before so why is it so much to ask to do away with it now. Glass bottles, paper bags etc were all normal when we were kids. And the waste plastic that fills the earth is a huge problem. Ahhhh… I miss the good old days. Now I sound like my Grandfather.

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14 Tony

Love the photo. We are slowly poisoning ourselves. The thing I always think is that we used to get by without all this before so why is it so much to ask to do away with it now. Glass bottles, paper bags etc were all normal when we were kids. And the waste plastic that fills the earth is a huge problem. Ahhhh… I miss the good old days. Now I sound like my Grandfather.

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15 Julie

I agree, plastic is a problem, for the environment and also for health. Plastic is everywhere : food, cosmetics and in items we use in our daily life. People are not aware enough of plastic dangers and I think it’s a big problem for those who use too much plastic (especially for cooking). We should use glass containers and forget plastic food containers as well as plastic food wrap film.

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