Serving Plastics For Dinner?
What do breast milk, food cans, microwave popcorn, and fast-food French fry boxes have in common with meat, fish and dairy products? They’re all avenues of human ingestion of potentially harmful chemicals associated with everyday plastics. Although the jury is still out on what levels of exposure are unsafe, it is indisputable that we are all literally consuming chemicals from plastics daily.
Biomonitoring projects – like the 2005 BodyBurden study of cord blood in neonates and the Mind, Disruptedinvestigation of blood and urine in adults representing the learning & developmental disabilities community just published in February 2010 – consistently find neurotoxic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals used in common plastics among the substances routinely tainting human tissues. Although diet is not the only route of exposure, it is considered a major one.
Given that developing fetuses and young children are most vulnerable to environmental toxins, understanding how exposure occurs through ordinary diets, and how to avoid it, has become a growing societal concern.
Three constituents of common plastics that find their way into food or drinks are described below, all linked to ill health effects in humans and lab animals. In the Mind, Disrupted study, the subjects universally tested positive for all three: bisphenol-A, brominated flame retardants, and perfluorinated compounds. The variety of avenues into the human diet is surprising.
Originally synthesized a century ago as a synthetic estrogen, bisphenol-A (BPA) was utilized instead to make baby bottles, reusable water bottles, and food storage containers upon discovery that polymerization produced clear, shatter-proof plastics dubbed polycarbonates. It’s also a key ingredient of the epoxy resin that lines metal food cans and jar lids, including infant formula.
Over 90% of Americans own BPA into their urine, according to the 2003–2004 National Health also Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of the U.S. state. Modern kids usually have the highest levels because people need a protein that cuts hair BPA. Leaching from BPA of bottles into milk and drinks is considered to be one main route of exposure.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set a now outdated safe exposure standard of <50ug/kg/day based on research from the 1980s: Recent measurements show daily intake exceeds this in many people. Hundreds of recent studies connect BPA to a diversity of problems like early puberty, miscarriage, breast and prostate cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias and male erectile dysfunction. Harmful effects in lab animals are seen at exposure levels far below what the EPA has considered safe.
Responding to the newer findings, the National Toxicology Program Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction released a monograph in Sept 2008 admitting “some concern” that current levels of exposure in fetuses, infants and children may result in developmental changes in the brain, prostate and behavior. In January 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted its “support” for voluntary moves by industry to both stop selling BPA-containing baby bottles and feeding cups and develop alternatives to BPA-lined infant formula cans; however, it stopped short of recommending bans on BPA or that parents change use of infant formula or foods.
Only Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin have passed laws banning BPA in children’s foodware and drinkware.
Infrared light therapy has emerged as a modern treatment procedure. Infrared uses the sun’s light spectrum, to harness energy to treat various diseases. Infrared region is divided into three different regions which are near, mid and far infrared regions respectively. Of which, near and far infrared regions have come up to satisfy most of the medical treatment needs. It is a common trend that if the medical world has come up with a new treatment formula, most of its ill effects are merely disclosed. Although Infrared light therapy side effects are more likely to be less dangerous than any other treatment methods.
Infrared light therapy works by raising the body temperature to a comfortable level of 30 to 35 degree Celsius. The heating effect so created results in increased blood circulation, which in turn makes the healing process much faster than normal. It can be easily observed that the result of infrared light therapy is reached swiftly than traditional methods. Therefore, it marks the beginning of new treatment trend. Several histological examinations were done to check how safe infrared light therapy is. In general, infrared light therapy side effects are at the minimal side.
Infrared radiation can increase the amount of soluble collagen and elastin in fibroblasts resulting in enhanced skin texture. In certain studies, it was pointed out than infrared radiation may cause the same effects of that found in solar UV radiation. But in recent studies, it was completely an outdated piece of knowledge. It can have many therapeutic effects of healing of wounds. Infrared light therapy at atmospheric temperature will not cause any serious burns. Some of the minor side effects are as follows.
- Straining of eyes
- Irritation in eyes
These are generally caused due to the glare of red light, and it can be easily avoided by wearing a goggle. It is recommended to avoid using red light therapy for bipolar disordered people since it can make them maniac. Moreover, infrared light therapy relays mostly on thermal effects; overheating can create burnings which in turn can result in DNA mutation. Keep a safe distance from the device. So intense care should be taken while handling an infrared probe. It is much better to clean the probe with a sanitizer to make it gem free. Make sure that not to apply infrared light over an open wound as it can intensify the bleeding. Also, do not apply it over the wet skin surface.
Some of the comparatively long-term side effects of infrared light therapy, due to inappropriate use of the device are to be discussed.
- Some tissues are sensitive to minute variations in temperature.
- Overheating of the cornea of eyes can make you more prone to cataract.
- It may sometimes lead to mild transient erythema on derma lasting for a few hours
- Scaling of the face is yet another issue related to IR therapy.
- Mild dryness resulting from IR therapy makes you feel moistureless.
- The requirement of multiple sessions is one of the practical hurdles.
- The therapy should be continued to maintain the results.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a family of flame retardants in widespread use in consumer products, including plastics for electronics and electrical devices. Because PBDEs are not permanently bonded to the plastic polymers, they migrate out into the environment.
Properties of PBDEs include resistance to biodegradation and affinity for fats, allowing them to persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in the food web. PBDEs were found in nearly 100% of blood samples in the 2003-2004 NHANES survey. Consumption of meat, fish and dairy products is thought to be a primary route of exposure.
However, it was the discovery of infant exposure to PBDEs via rising levels in human breast milk in the United States and Europe that set off a chorus of alarm about health risks to humans.
PBDEs have been marketed in the United States in three commercial mixtures, so-called penta, octa and decaformulations. Because of animal data linking penta and octa to serious health impairments – including liver, thyroid & reproductive toxicity and especially developmental neurotoxicity – domestic manufacture of penta and octa was voluntarily phased out in 2004. However, levels of penta and octa in humans continue to rise, attributable in part to widespread use of deca which can break down into other forms.
In December 2009, the EPA outlined an Action Plan to reduce human exposure to PBDEs which recommended only a voluntary phase out of deca in lieu of a federal restriction. California is among 11 states that have enacted bans on penta and octa.
However, even public health-advocacy organizations that support phase-out of all PBDEs, like Environmental Working Group, do not recommend that parents stop breastfeeding because of breastfeeding’s positive impact on other measures of infant well-being.
Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) are synthetic polymers that find their way into food applications because they repel oils and water. They are the key ingredient of grease/water-resistant coatings on non-stick cookware (e.g. Teflon®), pizza boxes, microwave popcorn, and fast-food wrappers.
The most studied PFCs are PFOA (perfluorooctanoate) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonate) which are known to persist seemingly indefinitely once released into the environment and consequently build up in the food web. They also persist in human tissues: The half-life of PFOA and PFOS in human blood is roughly 4-5 years, according to a 2007 study of retirees of a PFC manufacturing facility.
Ninety-eight percent of the blood samples in the 2003-2004 NHANES survey contained PFOA and PFOS. Breast milk contaminated with PFOA and PFOS was detected in 98% of Massachusetts women participating in a 2004 study. Dietary intake of meat, fish and dairy products is thought to be a major route of exposure along with consumption of foods contaminated through contact with grease/water-resistant packaging (e.g. fast foods).
Non-stick cookware, when heated to high temperatures, has also been shown to release substances that might taint foods, according to tests performed by Environmental Working Group.
The list of potential health effects linked to PFCs in human and animals studies is long and includes cancers, high cholesterol, liver and developmental toxicity, thyroid hormone disruption, and infertility. No U.S. jurisdiction has yet limited the used of PFOA or PFOS in food contact substances.
Poseidon, god of the sea.
Poseidon Resources Inc., a multinational water entrepreneur, wants to build desalination plants in the cities of Huntington Beach and Carlsbad in California. Desalination is the most energy intensive and costly source of drinking water and Poseidon always said that their projects would be funded completely with private sector dollars. Local elected officials bought into that, but it was obvious from the start that these two projects would need public funding to exist. In fact, if these projects go through, they will each receive a minimum of $350 in government
subsidies, and possibly much more. Here is the story.
Editor’s note: Unfortunately, due to a technical problem, the aspect ratio of the video is incorrect and images appear taller than they should. The Surf City Voice apologizes for the inconvenience. Efforts are underway to correct the problem.