BPA. PET, PVC, These letters didn’t mean much to me until recently. Let me start from the beginning. Years ago, I read an article about Sheryl Crow being diagnosed with breast cancer. She mentioned in the article that she attributed it to leaving plastic water bottles in her hot car and then drinking it. I realized I often did the same and quickly stopped. It was then that I became very interested in the type of water I was drinking and where it was coming from. In my old house in the Hollywood Hills, my ex had a few dogs who passed away from the same type of cancer. I started to wonder if maybe it had to do with the tap water they were drinking and the old pipes in our home. When Maddy, my now 17 year old pug was just 3 she was diagnosed with mast cell tumors. They weren’t dangerous and were able to be controlled by giving her Benadryl daily and removing them with surgery but I wondered if it was related. This would be the 4th dog living in that house with a cancer diagnosis. From that day forward I decided to only give my dogs filtered water and switched their plastic bowls to stainless steel. Luckily they are 14 and 17 now. Is this because of that? I can’t really say but I do believe it plays a role. We are made up of 70 -90% water, what we feed our bodies and cells is so important. You want to make sure you are feeding them with good clean water and drinking from plastic or (LA) tap water will do the opposite of that.
Aside from the devastating impact on the planet's health (That’s a whole other post), plastic's impact on human health has been insidious. On top of the rise in cancer rates, particularly prostate and breast cancer, and many other diseases, I am not sure if you have noticed an increase in fertility problems amongst people you know. Girls are going through puberty way earlier than when I was growing up and there seems to be so many more ADHD and hyperactive children. Not only that, but children today have a tendency of being seriously overweight. All of these conditions result from multiple factors, but the effects of plastic cannot be discounted. This has been something I have been very interested in and have been doing extensive research on.
Endocrine disruptors are the link between human health hazards and plastic. Some of the better publicized endocrine disruptors include dioxins and PCBs, which have polluted our nation's waterways. In the human body, endocrine disruptors mimic the actions of the hormone estrogen. They upset the hormonal balance and can stimulate the growth of tumors in the breast, uterus or prostate. They can affect fertility, pregnancy, and worse, can affect the fetus by interfering with testosterone, disrupting normal sexual development. This disruption is not often apparent until adulthood and includes the increased risk of cancer.
One of the main chemicals used to produce plastics is bisphenol A, or BPA, an endocrine disruptor that is prevalent in a vast number of widely used products, not least of which are plastic food and beverage bottles and the lining of metal cans. Heat, repeated washing, acidity, and alkalinity cause the BPA in plastics to leach into our food and beverages. Further, BPA leaches into our groundwater from all the plastic sitting in landfills. And of course we ingest BPA from all the fish we eat that has previously ingested all that plastic floating around in the ocean. It’s a big disaster.
I personally started drinking from glass bottles about 10 years ago. People make fun of me that I walk around with these heavy bottles in my purse or on set. They call me a diva etc but I am doing it for the sole purpose of mine and my family’s health and I highly implore you to do the same. I started paying attention to the packaging of certain foods and would try to only buy it if it said BPA free. I am not so concerned about things that aren’t being heated as heat releases the chemicals and that’s how it gets into our systems. But sometimes we don’t think about how our bottled or canned foods get to their retail stores. Sometimes these bottles might be heated during transport so the safest thing to do is opt for BPA free plastics and linings and buy fresh whenever possible. I won’t even put plastic Tupperware lids in the dishwasher anymore. I wash them by hand with luke warm water. Putting any plastic in the dishwasher will again, release all those toxins into your cups, bowls and plates. Once you start going down this rabbit hole, the things you discover are terrifying.
What can you do about this?
Well, you need to live your life and not drive yourself crazy but here are some tips and small lifestyle changes that can help you stay clear from some of these risks.
Avoid drinking water from plastic. Use glass, stainless steel or ceramic and refill from either a filter or a glass bottled source. We have the 5 gallon glass bottles from Mountain Valley Spring that we refill our bottles with.
Avoid hot take out food unless its in paper containers. This is a big one. When you order food, they are usually putting piping hot, straight out of the oven or off the stove food directly into plastic containers. This immediately will cause the chemicals to be released into your food and therefore it will get into your system.
NEVER EVER PUT PLASTIC IN THE MICROWAVE. EVER. If you are heating up a frozen dinner, transfer it to a plate or use the oven (transferred as well) The containers these foods come in are generally lined with plastic.
Buy BPA free whenever possible. (*did you know BPA is banned in all children’s products but not adults?)
Switch all storage containers to glass tupperware and BPA free freezer bags (available at Whole Foods)
Don’t ever drink coffee out of those plastic lids you get at Starbucks or your favorite coffee shop. You can bring your own travel ceramic mug with lids and have them fill those up. They sell them at Starbucks or amazon. Also, never use those green stoppers they give you at Starbucks to prevent your coffee from spilling on the go. They now sell BPA free straws on Amazon as well, I use these on the go for smoothies or stainless steel ones at home.
Now, I didn’t want to write this to scare you. These are just things to start being aware of. When I launched my blog in 2014, it was because I wanted a place where I could share my discoveries with you. Sometimes that’s beauty, recipes, travel or fashion and sometimes it’s heavily based in health. I just want you to be aware so that if you make one small change today, it could affect your health tomorrow. If I can play a small part in giving you guys and your families better quality of life then I am definitely doing my job.
Comment below or on Instagram with any questions!!