Human Health & Plastics

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals:

  • Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals are a class of chemicals found in the environment, food sources, personal care products and manufactured products that interfere with the normal function of the body’s endocrine system.
  • Chemical endocrine disruptors include plastic additives such as BPA, phthalates and perchlorate.
  • Health effects from endocrine disrupting chemicals cost the US $340 billion annually.
  • Microplastics entering the human body via direct exposures through ingestion or inhalation can lead to an array of health impacts, including inflammation, genotoxicity, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and necrosis, which are linked to an array of negative health outcomes including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation, autoimmune conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, and stroke.

EPS facts:

  • Polystyrene and expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) better known as Styrofoam are plastics made from styrene and benzene, two petroleum based, non-sustainable and heavily polluting resource.
  • Research study shows that styrene can leach out from EPS. (1)
  • Styrene is recognized as a known animal carcinogen and can enter the human body through inhalation, ingestion or through dermal contact.
  • Styrene has been detected in the leachate of landfills.
  • Styrene has been found in 100% of human tissue samples and 100% of human nursing milk samples tested.
  • Long-term exposure to styrene has been shown to cause depression, headache, fatigue, weakness and minor effects on kidney function. (Safety and Health Topics: Styrene, 2016)
  • Styrofoam does not bio degrade, some experts claim that Styrofoam can take over 500 years to break down. (2)

Phthalates:

  • Phthalates are endocrine disruptors and androgen blocking chemicals. This means what when absorbed into the body phthalates can either mimic or block female hormones, suppress the hormones involved in male sexual development.
  • Phthalates are frequently added to PVC products to soften plastics.
  • Phthalates can be released from a product by leaching, agitation and prolonged storage.
  • Hazard identification in humans include early onset of puberty, obesity, endocrine system disruption, lower sperm count in adult males and genital defects.

Bisphenol-A facts:

  • Bisphenol-A is a plastic additive used in can linings and plastic bottles.
  • 93% of Americans have BPA in their bodies, according to the study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Bisphenol-A substitutes such as BPS and BPF have been linked to obesity in children and teens.
  • Researchers have found a correlation between BPS concentrations in urine and being overweight in childhood.
  • BPA poses serious health risks especially to children and developing fetuses.
  • Exposure to BPA has been linked to obesity, diabetes and fertility problems.
  • In 2012, the US FDA banned the use of BPA in baby bottles intended for children under 12 months.
  • University of Missouri-Columbia finds that low exposure to BPA may harm prostrate.

Autoimmune Diseases:

  • Autoimmune diseases affect 5-10% of the world’s population.
  • 50 million Americans (20%) suffer one or more autoimmune conditions.
  • Number of new Type-1 cases is doubling every 20 years.
  • Rise in Type-1 diabetes is coincidental with chemical production in the US.
  • 27% of children with Type-1 diabetes live in Europe and North America.