Plastics are everywhere. They’re in our homes, clothes, cars, toys, and, alarmingly, they’re on our dinner plates. Researchers have confirmed that potentially harmful chemicals from plastics are in the nation’s food supply, which make their way into the human body.
A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives named plastic food packaging as a major source for these chemicals. Families were given food that was certifiably plastic-free for three days, and researchers compared the levels of chemicals found in plastic in their bodies.
The results were astounding: participants saw an average 2/3 drop in the levels of bisphenol A (BPA) present in their bodies. The controversial chemical has been linked in higher rates of cancer, heart disease, and a variety of reproductive health issues. Though BPA is banned in Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently rejected a ban on the chemical.
The FDA’s system of measuring the concentration of chemicals is a major cause for concern here — in short, it doesn’t stack up with the decades of scientific research that shows even the lowest amounts of BPA can affect the human body.
Moreover, the FDA relies on manufacturers to self-report their initial data about their products, many components of which aren’t manufactured by the manufacturers themselves. These results aren’t made public.
As Janet Nudelman of the Breast Cancer Fund told the Washington Post, “It doesn’t make sense to regulate the safety of food and then put the food in an unsafe package.”