I can't imagine trying to be a parent and remove any kind of plastic from your kid's life, but I'm seriously reevaluating (again) the items I buy for my kids because of a new warning about plastics that Mother Jones covered this month.
You probably remember controversy about BPA from a few years ago. BPA is an everyday plastic, used in baby bottles, hard plastic water bottles, sippy cups, and the linings of food and formula cans. It turns out there were a lot of problems with BPA, like how it mimics human hormones, specifically estrogen.
Estrogen is awesome, when your body starts making it at specific times to grow, go through puberty, all the normal things. However, if kids are exposed to estrogen, or things that mimic estrogen, at the wrong times and in the wrong amounts, it can cause early puberty, cause boys to grow breasts, and a tide of other issues (like when animals are exposed to estrogen mimicry it deletes genes, reprograms cells, and causes permanent problems that can be passed down to offspring.)
BPA is tied to hormone disruption, brain and behavioral disorders, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and basically you name it. BPA and the other hormone disrupters, called phthalates, are SCARY because we're exposed all the time, every day, and with everything we use, which means our kids are exposed, setting them up for things like breast cancer, and their children, too.
While BPA has been banned around the world, it is not banned in the U.S. However, because moms like you and me stopped buying things with BPA, the manufacturers phased out those products in favor of goods that are BPA-free. But it turns out that the BPA-free plastics that the manufacturing industry used to replace the bad guy, are probably just as bad as BPA. In fact, the substitute, Tritan, or TPP, was MORE estrogenic than BPA. It's leaking MORE estrogen-like stuff into our lives.
What's worse is that the baby bottle makers don't care because YOU don't care.
Until we start demanding nonestrogenic products, they aren't going to stop making them. Tritan is in stuff like the plastic bins at the grocery store, along with other store-bought food containers, so even if you're not buying baby bottles, you and your children are being exposed to chemicals that pretend to be estrogen and could give our kids, and our grandchildren, devastating long term consequences. Even small exposures can mean a life-long problems with development and diseases. We cannot avoid those plastics, and they know it.
Our regulators are ignoring the evidence of BPA and Tritan in favor of the big companies who make these chemicals and the manufacturers who use them. Until you and I make a big stink about it, our children are in DANGER. It's time to start contacting our lawmakers about what they're doing to protect all of us.
So that's why I'm taking a long, hard look at the plastics in my home and in my environment. Maybe you should, too?