Thursday, July 19, 2007

Are Plastics Into You?

One of my teachers in Environmental Medicine loved to remind us of the famous line from "The Graduate" where Dustin Hoffman discloses that his post-college plan are to "get into plastics." "But now", Dr. Crinnion would always exclaim with glee, "plastics have gotten into us!" Indeed, he is correct. They are so into us that these miracles of chemistry are causing any number of hormonal imbalances and increasing the risk of cancer. Many people have absolutely no idea how important it is to be aware of plastics in their world. Here are some tips regarding plastics:

- Avoid plastics with the following recycle numbers: #3, #6, #7. These are the most dangerous.
- NEVER heat ANYTHING in plastic. This makes it much more likely that the plastic will end up in your food and then in your body. Most of this heating requires a microwave, so while you are at it, throw out the microwave. If you have any doubt about this, try this experiment. Microwave 1 glass of water and water one of the plants in your home with it for a couple of weeks. Water a different plant with purified water. See the difference in growth in a short amount of time. One participant in my 14-Day Renewal Cleanse tried this, and plant watered with microwaved water actually died, so be aware of that.
- Don't eat anything that is packaged in styrene or styrofoam. Styrene is what is in styrofoam and it is a known carcinogen. You might get a tuna sandwich at a convenience store that is on styrene, you might get soft serve ice cream or yogurt on styrene, and I always wince at this, you might be offered coffee or tea in a styrofoam cup (it is heated, even worse!). I do not recommend drinking or eating from these products. Also, keep in mind that a fatty food is more likely to pick up the styrene. So, tuna with mayo on top of a styrene plate, or 1/2 and 1/2 with coffee in a styrofoam cup. That is a real disaster, between the coffee, the half and half, the styrofoam.
-Store and drink water out of glass bottles or stainless steel containers. A good stainless steel container is the Klean Canteen, which I highly recommend.
-There are many products out there for children that specifically avoid harmful plastics. I will have more information on these products soon. There has recently been a run on glass baby bottles as more families have become aware of the hazards of plastics for children.

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