Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Leach Happens.

Leach happens.

Friends, please.  Please don't leave plastic water bottles in the car during summer months.  

Please don't heat your plastics, please.  

I don't care what the package says.  I don't care if the green beans come in a special boil-in-bag.   I don't care if they sell that chicken in a plastic wrapper that says, "Heat at home in the microwave."  I don't care if the microwave supper is prepackaged in a microwavable plastic dish.  Please disembark it to ceramic or a heavy paper plate.

All evidence leads to leaching of harmful chemicals of multiple sorts into our food, our air, our water. 

I know you've heard this from me before, but I keep catching my own daughters heating plastic in the microwave.  Ugh. 

Recently some scientists went to stores we shop at - Walmart, Whole Foods, others - and bought 450 plastic items to stress test them for chemical release.  They used two tests, a salt water soak and an alcohol soak.  I'm not sure what they were trying to mimic.  I would have liked it more if they had mimicked dishwasher action, microwaving, leaving things on sunny window ledges or for endless weeks in the hot back seats of summer cars.  Regardless, leach happens. 

Below is a quote from the article:

"The new study doesn't look at health risks. It simply asks whether common plastic products release estrogen-like chemicals other than BPA.

The researchers bought more than 450 plastic items from stores including Walmart and Whole Foods. They chose products designed to come in contact with food — things like baby bottles, deli packaging and flexible bags, says George Bittner, one of the study's authors and a professor of biology at the University of Texas, Austin.

Then CertiChem, a testing company founded by Bittner, chopped up pieces of each product and soaked them in either saltwater or alcohol to see what came out.

The testing showed that more than 70 percent of the products released chemicals that acted like estrogen. And that was before they exposed the stuff to real-world conditions: simulated sunlight, dishwashing and microwaving, Bittner says."

Click to listen to the story online.

Click to read the story.

When you listen to it on NPR, they begin by telling you that there's no hard evidence yet about exactly how these chemicals can harm you, but that's only true if you limit yourself to FDA rulings.  But if you look beyond the FDA and outside this country, there's been adequate information to raise serious concerns, even if the FDA is rediculously slow about it.  Click here to read a Time Magazine report on some of these scientific findings.

So.  Jody.  Lisa.  Mom.  Friends.  Please.  Stop.  Heating.  Plastic.

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