We all know that plastic has entered every aspect of our life and is causing us a great deal of harm. Despite the fact that plastic appears to be a harmless substance, there are several reasons why certain forms of plastic are extremely hazardous to human health. The leaching characteristic of plastic is well known. Therefore, many particles of plastic that are undetectable to the human eye might make their way into our land and water supply, contaminating it. In our daily lives, microplastics are a constant source of irritation, to the point that they are even abundant in the atmosphere we inhale.
Controlling this situation has proven quite tough. It is essential for our personal well-being that we investigate how plastic impacts our health and what the potentially hazardous characteristics of plastics are. Perhaps, as we become more conscious of these issues, we will be able to take the required steps to halt or at the very least restrict our plastic use.
How Does Plastic Harm Our Health?
As a result, one may be vaguely aware of the negative consequences of plastics. What if we told you there are negative consequences to every stage of the plastic production process? Each and every stage in the production of plastic is dangerous to human health as well as to the health of the surrounding environment in general.
The extraction of fossil fuel is the very first stage in the process. Because of this process, poisonous chemicals are released into our water ways and into the air we breathe, which is harmful to us. The hazardous substances in question are ultimately responsible for fatal illnesses such as cancer, neurotoxicity, and reproductive problems. Moreover, they are responsible for illnesses that result in the weakening of the immune system.
Following the extraction phase comes the refining step. As a result of this refining process, numerous carcinogenic compounds are discharged into the air, which is then breathed by the workers in these refinery factories. It is a procedure that is extremely harmful. Not only are these carcinogens harmful to the body, but they can also cause neurological problems, developmental problems, reproductive diseases, leukemia, and genetic or birth defects.
Following the refining process, there is the process of using the plastics that have been generated to package various items in them. This process results in the consumption or inhalation of microplastics, which have the potential to cause significant damage in the long term.
Infection with microplastics can result in a variety of diseases such as inflammation, genotoxicity, oxidative stress, necrosis, and apoptosis, among other things. Aside from chronic autoimmune diseases, they can potentially cause cancer in more severe situations. As a result of the increased concentration of these polymers in our bodies over time, more complex problems may emerge.
7 Types Of Harmful Plastics
1. Polyethylene Terephthalate
PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, is a kind of plastic that is most often seen in the form of water bottles and soda bottles, among other purposes. Even ketchup is often packaged in a PET container to reduce environmental impact. While tests have determined that it is a food-grade plastic due to the absence of BPA, some sources disagree. When this material is subjected to heat, on the other hand, it turns into a very toxic chemical.
2. Polyvinyl Chloride
This plastic, which is also known as PVC, is an extremely hard but flexible substance that has a high melting point. As a result, it is particularly well suited for hardware applications such as plumbing pipes and so on. Plastic containers, shrink wrap, children's toys, and pharmaceutical packaging are just a few of the other uses for polyvinyl chloride. PVC includes DEHP, which has the potential to transform masculine characteristics into feminine characteristics. It essentially causes severe disruption of natural human hormones.
3. Low-density Polyethylene
This is a considerably thinner plastic that is mostly used in rubbish bags (check out our amazing compostable bags) and bread bags, along with other uses. They are also used as a liner for drinking glasses. Despite the fact that it does not contain BPA, it does contain dangerous estrogenic compounds. Instead of using this, consider one of our alternatives.
4. High-density Polyethylene
Milk and drink bottles are the most popular applications for this type of plastic, which is also known as high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This is essentially a hard plastic that is both robust and long-lasting, and it is usually used to hold personal hygiene goods. This plastic, which is frequently referred to as a "safe plastic," has been shown to leak extremely hazardous substances. When children and adolescents are exposed to these substances in excess, it can have negative consequences on them.
Takeaway food containers are the most typical use for this type of plastic. Polypropylene, often known as PP, is a hazardous material, albeit not nearly as toxic as the other plastics discussed in this article. Having said that, it is also associated with a number of health complications. Check out our alternative.
Styrofoam, often known as polystyrene, is a popular material used in the production of single-use disposable kitchenware such as plates and cups. It releases styrene, which is a well-known carcinogen, into the environment. When styrene is subjected to heat, it becomes particularly hazardous.
7. Other Types Of Plastic
Plastics that do not fall into any of the categories above are placed in this final category. These polymers, which mostly emit BPA or BPS, are extremely hazardous. The chemicals in these products cause a wide range of illnesses and problems, including psychological dysregulation, sexual dysfunction, and reproductive abnormalities, and they are also known to be carcinogens.
What Can You Do?
If you wish to protect yourself against the dangers of plastic poisoning, just remember the following simple guidelines:
- If at all possible, stay away from the plastics in the 6th and 7th categories.
- Do not microwave plastic containers since they will degrade. Instead, opt for fully recyclable containers.
- Avoid using cling film.
- Look for plastic containers that are free of BPA.
- Look for plastics that are clear of phthalates.
- Try to avoid eating food that has been packaged in plastics in general.
As a last note, we recognize that escaping from plastic could be quite tough. However, there are certain actions that each of us may do to reduce the toxicity of plastic in our own bodies and environments.