More and more studies are showing the dangers that the use of plastic is having on our health. As parents, our concern is the effects on our children. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report and policy statement in August, 2018 detailing the hazards to our children’s health posed by chemicals in plastic and making recommendations to assist persons in the health field and parents as to how to reduce exposure to these dangerous chemicals. It found that “food insecurity remains a substantial child health concern”.
According to the report, increasing amounts of diseases and disabilities are being linked to harmful chemicals in plastic. For example, the chemical bisphenol A or BPA has been frequently used since the 1960s in manufacturing plastic but research has shown the negative health effects it has. “BPA has recently been banned from infant bottles and plastic beverage containers are increasingly designated as BPA free. However, BPA and related compounds are still used in polymeric resin coatings to prevent metal corrosion in food and beverage containers.” Be aware that, even though BPA may not be used in the plastic of a specific item, there are closely related chemical alternatives now being used that show similar negative health effects.
The report lists many other chemicals and additives in food that pose harm to children. Please read it for a good understanding of how these chemicals are shown to negatively affect our bodies.
The Academy’s policy statement is very helpful as well as it contains many practical recommendations such as:
• Avoid microwaving food or beverages (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic;
• Avoid placing plastics in the dishwasher;
• Use alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible; and
• Look at the recycling code on the bottom of products to find the plastic type, and avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols) unless plastics are labeled as “biobased” or “greenware,” indicating that they are made from corn and do not contain bisphenols.
One other practical recommendation is drinking tap water rather than bottled water. As for us parents, isn’t that so much easier, as you simply have to fill a glass or bottle from the tap?
Unfortunately, it is predicted that the use of plastics will quadruple by 2050. That’s a sad testimony for us!
To read the full report and policy statement, please visit: