A commonsense guide to toxic plastics in your home, and how to avoid them.

toxic chemicals in plastics

Toxic plastics, used in many kitchen and household items, contain a variety of dangerous chemicals.

Three of the most toxic chemicals are bisphenol-A (BPA), PVC and Phthalates.

BPA, PVC and Phthalates can be found in plastic food packaging, plastic food storage containers, plastic water bottles, canned foods, toys, cooking implements and even kitchen appliances like coffee makers.

The problem is that when we use plastics in our kitchens, these chemicals migrate out of the plastic and into the food and drink we consume.

All three chemicals are extremely dangerous to our health – and most dangerous of all to unborn babies, infants and children.

Why are they so dangerous? They are all what are known as endocrine disruptors. They can upset normal hormonal balance in our bodies, stimulate the growth and development of cancers (breast, uterine, prostate), impair fertility, and disrupt pregnancy.

There are other sicknesses associated with these chemicals, including heart disease and behavioral problems in children.

And they are all over your house, not just in your kitchen.

They may be in the plastic of the bottle containing the organic shampoo you bought last week, or in the plastic used to make the toy duck your child is chewing on right now.

Is this threat real?

Good question.

It is real enough for all the countries in the European Union to place a ban on the use of endocrine disruptors in plastics that come into contact with food and drink. And the same goes for plastics that are used in baby bottles, sippers and toys that might be chewed by young infants.

It is real enough for the Government of Canada to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles.

It is real enough for the State of Minnesota to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles.

In the Western World, the only federal government that insists these plastics are safe is the US Government. Interestingly, several US plastics manufacturers are voluntarily removing these chemicals from many of their products, and a number of retailers are removing toxic plastics from their stores. But the EPA has no bans or prohibitions in place for any of these chemicals.

As a result, if you live in the US, or eat packaged foods imported from the US, you are likely feeding these endocrine disruptors to your family.

Recent articles and features...

Our addiction to single-use plastics reveals the most selfish side of our nature.

The presence of phthalates in toys is just one of the concerns when it comes to toys and toxic chemicals.

Alternatives to plastics are widely available. You simply have to make the decision to use them.

How can you protect yourself and your family from these chemicals?

1. Educate yourself. Learn about the different plastics in your home. Identify them by the recycling number you will find on most plastic products.

2. Throw out all plastics which contain bisphenol-A (BPA), PVC or Phthalates.

3. Replace those plastic items with alternatives -- like items made from safe plastics, glass, steel, ceramics or wood.

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Further reading:

Bad plastics...

Safe plastics...

Alternatives to plastics...

News of bad plastics in the media - BPA, phthalates, styrene.
If you find good media stories about bad plastics, please share them here.
What's new on the Bad Plastics website.
Information on dangerous plastics in your home.
Articles about bad plastics containing BPA, phthalates and styrene.
Read articles about how plastics containing BPA, phthalates and styrene impact our lives and our health.
Toxic plastics contain dangerous chemicals like bisphenol-A, phthalates and PVC
Plastic food packaging and food storage containers containing bisphenol-A, phthalates and PVC are toxic, and bad plastics to use in your kitchen.
Safe plastics by numbers. These are the plastics safe to use in your kitchen.
These are the plastics safe to use in food packaging and food storage containers. They are food-safe, BPA-free, phthalates-free and PVC-free.
Alternatives to plastics in your kitchen – glass, wood, stainless steel and cera
To keep your kitchen food-safe, BPA-free, phthalates-free and PVC-free, switch to traditional alternatives like glass, stainless steel, wood and ceramics.
Facts and figures relating to the toxic plastics in our lives.
The toxicity of chemicals in plastics is worrying enough. When you look at some of the figures relating to plastics in our lives, it’s downright scary.
How many times do you touch plastics each day?
If you stop and take notice, you’ll find that you touch dozens of plastic items every day. Do you know what kinds of plastics they are?
Plastic food packaging can contain toxins like bisphenol-A, phthalates
When you do your food shopping, the plastic food packaging may contain toxic chemicals like bisphenol-A, phthalates and PVC
Plastic food storage containers should be checked for safety.
Whether you are storing food you just purchased, or leftovers, be sure any plastic food storage containers are made from safe plastics.
Safe water bottles should be made from BPA-free plastic, or stainless steel
If you are looking for a safe water bottle to use again and again, should be made from BPA-free plastic, or stainless steel.
Choose BPA-free lunch boxes and containers for your children.
Count the number of meals and snacks your child eats from a lunch box each year, and you might feel motivated to ensure both the box and its containers are BPA-free.
Are all your small kitchen appliances BPA-free? Probably not.
Are your kitchen appliances BPA-free and phthalates-free? Think about your coffee maker, food processor and juicer.
Microwave safe plastic containers are not necessarily safe for your health.
Remove foods from all plastic containers or wraps before cooking, reheating or defrosting in the microwave.
BPA-free baby bottles, cups, teethers and toys.
Babies are the most vulnerable to the effects of BPA. So make sure all your baby products are BPA-free.
The presence of phthalates in toys is a direct threat to your children’s health.
There are still toxic chemicals used in making plastic toys, including phthalates.
Phthalates may be in your PVC shower curtains and elsewhere in your bathroom.
While you may have a great deal of PVC in your bathroom, thereby exposing yourself to phthalates and other toxic chemicals, there are alternatives.
Toxic plastics in your front and back yards.
It’s not enough to look for alternatives to toxic plastics in your home, you also have to look outside.
Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is found in many household plastics and is known
Bisphenol A is found in water bottles, baby bottles, sipping cups, food containers, cooking utensils and other household items.
Phthalates are toxic and are found in many plastic products in our homes.
Phthalates are found in many plastic products in our homes, including children’s toys and even baby shampoo.
Disclaimer – it’s up to you to make your own choices regarding toxic plastics.
Be sure to inform yourself thoroughly, and then take the necessary steps to protect your family from toxic plastics.
Contact BadPlastics.com
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PepsiCo’s new plant-based plastic bottles made from agricultural by-products
Yes, PepsiCo’s new plant-based plastic bottles are a big step forward. But it’s still plastic, and it still ends up in our environment.

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