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How to Detox from Plastics and Other Endocrine Disruptors

The soles of your shoes, the fabric of your clothing, your contact lenses, your chewing gum, your phone, food containers, mattresses – all are made with plastic. It’s everywhere. It’s in our salt and it’s in our water. Plastic may be the most insidious and enduring product we’ve ever produced.

While plastic improves our daily life in countless ways, it is also suffocating our planet and causing catastrophic pollution, much of it hidden and microscopic. Just how bad is it? Bottled water samples were collected and analyzed by scientists over a ten-month investigation. The study analyzed 259 bottles from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands and found an average of 325 plastic particles for every liter of water being sold.


This study comes just after a damning study of plastic found in sea salt brands was published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports. They analyzed seventeen commercial salt brands from eight different countries on four continents for plastic particles. They found plastics in all but one brand.


BPA’S REPLACEMENT, BPS, LIKELY NO BETTER

BPA is the starting material for producing polycarbonate plastics. We found out it leaches into the ground and water and causes all kinds of problems. Of course, the manufacturers denied and lied until the mounting evidence was incontrovertible. Then BPS was developed, and was a favored replacement; they thought BPS was more resistant to leaching. But BPS is leaching. Nearly 81 percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPS in their urine. Once it enters the body it can affect cells in ways that parallel BPA.


MICROPLASTICS, ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS, AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Microplastics are most likely, to varying degrees, already in all of our drinking water and in all of our bodies. Microplastics absorb toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases and release those chemicals into animals that consume it, like fish and humans who eat those fish. Experts say since these fibers have been found in most of our water supply, they have to be in our food as well. From fish to organic vegetables, microplastics are everywhere. At this time, there is no known way to completely filter or contain them.


Plastic waste doesn’t biodegrade. Instead, it breaks down into smaller pieces of itself, down to the nanometer scale (one billionth of a meter). Science knows that particles of this size migrate through intestinal walls and travel to lymph nodes, glands, and bodily organs.


Plastic is toxic. It has been proven to cause cancer. Plastic toxicity weakens the immune system, metabolism, and affects people’s skin, weight, behavior, and much more. Plastic particles will leach into food and drink and is also absorbed through skin and lungs. Plastics leach endocrine disruptors, meaning plastic screws up our hormonal system.


Most plastic products, from dishes to plastic bags to food wraps, have been proven to release estrogenic chemicals. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors that act like the sex hormone estrogen, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives. Excessive estrogen, estrogenic chemicals, and other endocrine disruptors have been linked to cancer, fertility problems, male impotence, heart disease, and many other conditions.


Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are chemicals that mimic our own hormones. They bind hormone receptors and disrupt the body’s normal hormonal actions. Endocrine disruptors may cause a more powerful response than the natural hormone would have or a diminished response. In some cases, they cause a completely different response than its natural counterpart would have created. EDs are typically measured in parts per trillion, which is indicative of the fact that very small amounts can have a disrupting effect on us. EDs are very stable. They don’t break down quickly. This is, in large part, why they are in so many products. They also get stored in our fat cells. They tend to stick around for a long time.


The dangers of plastics have not been studied adequately, and the plastic industry has no desire or intention of doing so. A study looking into the effects of BPA on rat testicles found that lipoic acid exerted antioxidant effects that can protect against BPA damage. In the study, BPA was shown to reduce testosterone, testicular weight, protein content, antioxidant activity, and beneficial enzyme activity, while damaging the mitochondria. Fetal exposure to BPA has been associated with obesity, altered reproductive function, and cancers later on in life. BPA was accidentally discovered to be carcinogenic when medical researchers came to find that rats were getting cancer during a study for something else. They found out that it was caused the BPA in the water bottles. And now we are supposed to trust BPA free plastics?


HOW TO AVOID PLASTIC TOXICITY

Many manufacturers have stopped using BPA to harden plastics, replacing it with “BPA-free” alternatives like the most common replacement, BPS (Bisphenol S).


"Our research showed that low levels of BPS had a similar impact on the embryo as BPA. In the presence of either BPA or BPS, embryonic development was accelerated. Additionally, BPA caused premature birth." –Nancy Wayne


You probably can’t avoid plastics. Even if you go to another planet plastic is going to take you there and contaminate that ecosystem. But you can limit plastic consumption and keep your body in a homeostasis state that detoxifies itself at all times. And the good news is that with the right diet and a healthy body, BPA and BPS can be flushed out of your system quickly, some say within 24 hours. A properly working body can process and dispel a lot of toxins. An unhealthy body rids itself of toxins at a slower rate than the toxins are consumed and produced.


WAYS TO LIMIT PLASTIC CONTAMINATION & PLASTIC USE

  • Keep your home clean, and vacuum regularly

  • Filter tap water

  • Always avoid artificial fragrances

  • Stay away from warm or hot plastics, don’t even breathe near them

  • Avoid canned foods

  • Avoid conventional personal care products like shampoos, soaps, moisturizers, makeup

  • Avoid conventional and big-ag produce (pesticides and herbicides have plastic residues)

  • Cook your own foods using whole-food ingredients

  • Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants

  • Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container

  • Use paper