We have a growing problem with plastics and other chemicals building up in our environment and causing real health problems. The government unfortunately takes a stance that all chemicals are safe to use until overwhelming evidence shows the contrary. In other words we are the great guinea pig experiment.
Are Plastics Causing Brain Damage?
By Dr. Nicole Sundeneon 05/27/2011
Unfortunately, the answer is, “yes it appears so.”
Imagine the possibilities? You could blame your forgetfulness on the Tupperware lunch you microwaved. Perhaps that brain fog this morning was because you drank your organic coffee from a plastic traveler’s mug.
In fact, maybe it’s plastics, not aluminum, causing Alzheimer’s; maybe it’s all the plastics in our environment that are breaking down and causing the skyrocketing rates of ADHD, depression, and autism.
I know it may sound a little crazy but it very well could be reality.
Not long ago researchers at Yale University found an alarming result to their preliminary study on what plastics are doing to the functioning of our Central Nervous System.
Fast Friends…FDA and Big Business
First let me give you some background.
All new chemicals are guilty until proven innocent. Why? Because that is the SAFEST option for consumers. However, it’s important to also understand that the FDA does not promote safety, they promote big business in America. This becomes quite clear when you look at its inability…or unwillingness…to properly examine new substances for consumers to ingest.
Did you know that all new food additives can be FDA approved simply by laboratory testing on animals alone? If you don’t believe me then just think about why tobacco…a known killer…has not been banned by the FDA?
Doesn’t that make you want to think twice before drinking that sucralose-loaded sports drink? You are drinking a man made substance that has NEVER been tested on human beings and approved for safety.
Plastics are no different. Researchers are JUST NOW growing concerned about the degradation of plastics in our environment and starting to really do some preliminary research on the health consequences of plastics.
A Plastic Covered World
What would we all do without plastics? We have grown so dependent on plastics.
You might be reading this right now and freaking out! OH MY GOSH! Everything in my house is plastic. My house is made of modified plastics…I drive in plastics…I eat out of plastics…I drink out of plastics! My child is teething on a big piece of plastic.
As a doctor and researcher with a passion for biochemistry, I really think that plastics – just like lead pipes, BPA, Azo yellow dye, asbestos, and all the medications the FDA is constantly approving and then yanking off the shelves – boils down to the same final dilemma that no one in the world is ever willing to accept:
You just can’t cheat the system.
I support people looking for a better way, an easier way. I am always after the same. However, the better way does not involve “cheating the system,” it involves supporting it. When we look for cheap quick fixes for today’s problems without thinking forward to the future generations, we will ALWAYS have a problem with our environment.
Think forward to fifty years from now—think about how much more plastic will be in our environment if we don’t stop now.
So, on one hand we have a very preliminary study done on plastics…and some evidence that plastics may be the problem in certain reproductive cancers…is there enough evidence yet…?
The problem is that the FDA approves something and then that thing is this “golden child” that then must be proven guilty (via expensive research).
Is “innocent until proven guilty” the best solution for potentially toxic products? There are plastics manufacturers everywhere burying the very research we need because they don’t want consumers to stop buying their products.
As a doctor with ten years of post secondary education, I vote for “why bother waiting around to find out”. The damage done by plastics is already more than enough evidence. We know they are bad. We know they break down in to “xenoestrogens,” or molecules that structurally mimic estrogen and are thus able to stimulate estrogen receptors.
We know that we should not even be drinking out of plastic water bottles. We know that smaller organisms in our environment are slowly transforming to a predominantly female gender as a result of the presence of these xenoestrogens in our environment.
This study by Yale University showing that plastics interfere with brain functions is simply the tip of the plastics iceberg. Unfortunately this may just be too big of an iceberg for us to navigate around.
So What Now?
What can you do as a consumer? Stop buying plastics, of course. There are typically superior products available made of stainless steel, glass, wood, and cast iron options that have circulated through generations and proven safe by the best test of all. The test of time is better than any double blind randomized control trial.
Every new thing in science gets a critical eye from me, and the plastics story is no exception. There is enough significant evidence at this point in time to warrant pulling most plastics from the shelves, and yet the FDA is not doing so because the bottom line is always the same thing—money.
Yes, at times these things may cost a little bit more, but just think of it as YOU having the voice to VOTE for what you want our environment to be composed of by choosing NOT to purchase items made of plastic.