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  • There's been a lot of buzz about dubious chemicals in the environment

  • that might contribute to some pretty frightening stuff like obesity, breast cancer, thyroid issues.

  • And they seem to lurk everywhere:

  • in pesticides, cosmetics, and especially plastic packaging.

  • In light of this, it's understandable to start panicking.

  • But before you do, let's hear what molecular biologist Bruce Blumberg has to say on the subject.

  • He's been studying the link between synthetic chemicals and obesity for around 15 years.

  • So he might be able to give us a better idea of what's really going on and what to do about it.

  • Bad news is, Blumberg confirmed that, yep, we're surrounded by these chemicals.

  • One of the most well known is BPA, or Bisphenol A,

  • which shows up in water bottles, cans, milk cartons, and more.

  • You get them from thermal paper receipts.

  • Like I have, I have these receipts from a recent trip.

  • All of these things are coated with Bisphenol A.

  • It goes right into your skin.

  • BPA has been making headlines for years about whether or not it's harming us.

  • And while FDA-funded and independent studies have conflicting conclusions, the bigger heart of the issue is this:

  • BPA is hard to get away from, because it's a key building block in the tough, clear, flexible plastic called polycarbonate.

  • And that proximity to food is what concerns scientists like Blumberg.

  • You don't wanna store food in plastics because some fraction of those plastics will leach into your food.

  • The BPA molecules that make up plastic are bound together by what's called an ester bond,

  • which is extremely sensitive to heat.

  • So, when you heat up your food in plastic, that heat breaks some of the bonds,

  • releasing the chemicals into your food.

  • A survey by the CDC of 2,517 people estimated that over 90% of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their urine.

  • And BPA isn't alone.

  • Phthalates, which make plastic flexible, can also leach into food when heated.

  • And reviews of hundreds of studies have linked BPA and phthalates to heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.

  • Not to mention, a 2015 review linked phthalates with impaired neurological development in children,

  • which in 2018 prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to announce that families should avoid plastic food containers entirely.

  • And other studies on animals, like mice and monkeys,

  • have shown that these chemicals can lead to problems in the lungs, brains, and reproductive organs.

  • This is about the time someone like me would probably panic.

  • But there are ways you can avoid these chemicals.

  • Blumberg suggests it's best to just stick to heating your food in anything but plastic.

  • Now, quick aside, BPA-free plastic containers aren't the answer,

  • because research suggests that BPS and BPF, the most common replacements for BPA,

  • might have similar effects on your body.

  • Instead, opt for replacements like ceramic or glass containers.

  • You have to do the best you can,

  • and it makes sense to me to do the things that give you the most return for the least effort.

  • And here's the best part.

  • Once you reduce exposure, those chemicals slowly leave your body.

  • As Blumberg says, they're stored in fat cells, which eventually die and ultimately leave your system.

  • Don't stress about it. Right.

  • Do your best and make conscious choices to improve things.

There's been a lot of buzz about dubious chemicals in the environment

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B1 INT US bpa plastic food obesity heat flexible

The Dangerous Chemicals In Your Plastic Packages

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    Fibby   posted on 2019/10/21
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