What’s the number one health threat today?
Research shows it’s still the hidden toxins from plasticisers, namely BPA and phthalates, because we can’t avoid them. Plasticizers leak out gas from plastic food containers directly into your food.
However, plastic food containers aren’t their only source.
Today, plasticisers are everywhere – in medications, dental repair materials, IVs, household & office furnishings, sealants, fragrances, cosmetics, clothes, computers, appliances, planes, automobiles, construction materials and even in kid’s toys.
Unfortunately, parents are often unaware about the hazardous chemicals in their kids’ environment and the health risk of hidden toxins in plastic products that their kids use.
What are the Hidden Toxins that Might Harm Your Kids?
An emerging toxic plastic of concern, chemicals from plasticizers leaching into food have been linked to various chronic diseases such as asthma, obesity, learning disability and even reproductive disorders.
Plasticisers are substances added to clay, cement and plastic products to make them resilient, flexible and easier to work with. Plasticisers are odorless and colorless fluids that are also used as additives such as fillers or pigments.
Truth is they are significant components that improve the workability of plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The most common and widely used plasticizers around the world are Phthalate and Bisphenol A (BPA).
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used as plasticisers. They provide durability and flexibility to plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In pure form, phthalates are often clear liquids with a slightly sweet odor.
Phthalate-containing plastics are commonly used in cosmetics, food packaging, clothing, building materials, in medical applications (e.g. blood transfusion bags and tubing, IV fluid bags & other medical equipment), and vinyl products (e.g. rain coats, flooring & shower curtains). Phthalates can also be found in detergents, lubricating oils and solvents.
For parents, you can easily spot phthalates. Just think of soft plastic like plastic shower curtains, wash-off baby books, kitchen flooring and even some toys. Those hard plastic cars that children play around the backyard don’t contain phthalates.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical primarily used to make epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastic. Polycarbonate plastic is a high performance plastic used in a wide range of products such as electronic equipment, digital media (e.g. DVDs and CDs), sports safety equipment, drinking containers, reusable food containers, baby bottles and much more.
Epoxy resins have many uses as well, particularly in building construction applications. The use of epoxy resin as protective coating in metal cans to keep the quality of canned beverages and goods has also achieved wide acceptance.
The average parent may simply ignore and reason that none of these plastics products could possibly expose their children enough toxins to cause illness. Somehow, that is correct. None of them individually is likely to cause harm. However, collectively, they make a powerful cocktail of dangerous chemical from which your baby has no escape.
Why Our Daily Dose of Hidden Toxins is Getting Higher?
Did you know that BPA has been found in many baby bottles, dental sealants, water bottles, paper products, metal food cans and different food containers? While there are countless other sources from our environment, food containers top the list.
And take note that these hidden toxins not only leach into your foods, but are present in many other things in your home, from the construction materials, appliances, cosmetics to the coatings of electrical wirings and gadgets. Indeed, life without plasticisers is no longer possible. Since they do not degrade, they have even reached the Arctic, which explains why hypothyroidism and osteoporosis, both human diseases, have been detected in polar bears.
BPA plastic alone can be responsible for various chronic diseases. The worst part is that it can wreck the human chemistry in numerous ways.
Diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome are partly caused by BPA. BPAs can also damage endocrine glands and Vitamin A receptors, and bring on heart disease, cancer and high cholesterol level. Meanwhile, phthalates can affect the human body negatively, causing birth defects, obesity, diabetes, low testosterone, learning disabilities among kids and even birth defects.
One of the hazardous effects of these plasticisers is that they interfere with the chemistry of fatty acid metabolism. Because the cell membrane is highly dependent on fatty acids for proper function, just imagine how plastic toxins can cause literally any disease! Children’s brains are vulnerable to damage from hidden toxins.
Don’t be fooled by labels stating ‘NO BPA’! BPA is only one of the many chemicals that are contained in ordinary plastics. Just because the product contains low levels of BPA, that in no way ensures that there are no phthalates or a cocktail of hidden toxins that also leak gas and wreck your natural chemistry in many serious ways.
Knowing these serious health effects of hidden toxins, it is important to depurate your system and be free from harmful chemicals. Check out these simple tips on how to eliminate hidden toxins from your body and strengthen your body’s detox system.
3 Tips To Protect Your Kids From Hidden Toxins
Learn these three simple and effective ways to depurate and drop the BPA and phthalate levels from your system.
Tip #1: Conduct a BPA and PVC Exam at Home
While most plastics can cause harm to your health and the environment, PVC or vinyl is by far the worst. A lot of things at home can be made of PVC, however not all plastic items contain it. check for the word ‘vinyl’ on the label or the symbol with the number 3 recycling code on the product. Most PVC items have a distinct strong odor when new. Just imagine the smell of a plastic shower curtain – that is one of the common signs that a product is made from PVC.
To help you identify safer plastic choice for use at home, check out the image below on the different types of plastic labels.
Trying to avoid the use of PVC in your life may seem too overwhelming, and sometimes, you just have little options to choose from. Start on the things that pose the greatest health risks such as toys and plastic food containers, followed by those that are easy to replace like shower curtains, office supplies, school supplies, cosmetic products and furniture.
Tip #2: Use PVC-Free school supplies
Healthy school equipment and supplies free from hidden toxins are important to your child’s health and well-being. Your child spends most of his/her years inside school buildings, the years that bodily and mental capacities are still developing.
A lot of kid’s school supplies like backpacks, binders, lunchboxes are usually made out of plastic, specifically PVC – a toxic plastic harmful to the environment and health. The best way to avoid these poison plastics is to identify them and looK for safer alternatives.
There are three ways to determine a PVC school supply product:
- PVC products usually indicate the word ‘vinyl’ on its packaging; for instance, vinyl 3-ring binders.
- To determine PVC packaging, check for universal recycling symbol,. It it has letter ‘V’ or ‘vinyl’ or the number ‘3’, you know it’s made from PVC.
- Some products may not be properly labeled, which makes it hard to determine if it contains PVC. Better call the manufacturer or email them about the type of plastic they are made of. You have the right to know.
Below are some ways to avoid school supplies that contain hidden toxins or PVC. These tips are not perfect, but they can help you make the right choice towards using safer school supplies. PVC is not the only toxin to watch out for. avoid polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastics. However, to be safe, better choose non-plastic products whenever possible.
- Notebook – avoid notebooks binded with metal spirals and covered with colored plastics. The plastic coating of metal spirals often contain PVC. Choose notebook dividers made from paper stock.
- Art supplies – don’t use modeling clays made from PVC (like polymer clays) as they are usually loaded with phthalates. Choose clays made without phthalates or PVC or you can make your own!
- Bags – avoid backpacks that has shiny plastic decors. They often contain PVC and even lead.
- Umbrellas – don’t buy those shiny and colorful umbrellas because they often contain PVC. Choose those made from other materials such as nylon.
- Lunchboxes – better use cloth lunch bags or glass food containers. Many plastic lunch boxes are made of PVC or maybe coated with vinyl on the inside.
- Paperclips – use plain metal paperclips. Avoid the colorful coated ones made from PVC.
Tip #3: Skip packaged foods and choose organic, fresh goods
One of the major sources of hidden toxins is from the food we eat. Researchers have succeeded in finding out the best way to lower your phthalate exposure by nearly 50% in just 3 days!
These researchers took five families from California and informed them of how the lining of juice boxes and cans, shrink wrap, plastic wrap, plastic bottles, plastic food containers and other food packaging contributed to high levels of phthalate. They tested their urine before, during and after the study. Then, for just 3 days, they had them eat only ‘fresh foods’ – that is, locally bought goods that were not packaged.
Here are some ways you can reduce your intake of hidden toxins:
- Avoid using plastic containers in microwave. Because hidden toxins are released when heated, the safest way is not to drink or eat any microwave food in plastic containers.
- Cook and store your food in ceramic and glassware. Avoid nonstick pans and plastic containers.
- Beware of cling wraps. Instead, use paper towel for covering food. If you need to use plastic, make sure it doesn’t touch the food.
- Whenever possible, use non-plastic containers. Use refillable containers, reusable bags, cardboard boxes or your own take-home container when going to restaurants or shopping in grocery store.
- Avoid plastic bottled water, unless you are living or traveling in an area where the quality of drinking water is questionable. If you are skeptic about the quality of tap water, consider installing an inexpensive home water filter. You can use a polycarbonate water bottle to lessen BPA leaching but don’t use it for hot or warm liquids. When washing reusable plastic bottles, avoid using harsh dishwashing solutions that can affect quality of plastic and increase chemical leaching.
- Whenever possible, choose organic food.
- Lessen your consumption of foods rich in animal fats (e.g. butter, cheese, and meat) because they often contain toxins like dioxin and PCBs.
More posts about natural detox:
- 5 Essential Tips to Prepare Yourself For Natural Detox
- Flush Out Body Toxins Through Rebounding Exercise
- 5 Tips on How to Detox Your Body with Water
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