My ongoing photo journal of the many plastics I touch each day.
[April, 2011: This is just the start of this project. There will be tons more photos once I have covered everything plastic I touch each day. Plus I’ll be adding some items I touch a lot, if not every day. For example, some items are seasonal...like garden tools.]
I probably touch most of these plastics, on most days. Some of them I know I touch every day.
And I’m not done yet. There are plenty more plastics I touch, and I’ll be adding more photos to this slide show.
I don’t suppose each individual item poses much of a threat to my health, or that of my family. But when you add it all up, when you look at the cumulative exposure to plastics every single day, that’s another matter.
And, of course, it’s not just about touching plastics with our hands.
The greater dangers lie in when we eat and drink from plastic items which are leaching toxic chemicals like BPA and phthalates. Or when our infants drink from sippy cups. Or when we heat up foods in plastic containers in the microwave.
When you add it all up...every touch, and every mouthful...that’s the time to pause and think.
Some of the time, particularly in the kitchen, we can use alternatives to plastics. And if an item has a recycling number on it, we can avoid bad plastics and choose safer plastics.
But there are plenty of items which have no recycling numbers, so we have no idea whether the plastic is safe or not.
For example, consider your toothbrush. You stick it in your mouth and rub it vigorously against your teeth and gums for a few minutes, every day. But I have no idea what kind of plastic is used in making my toothbrush, and have no idea if dangerous chemicals are leeching out into my mouth with every brush.
Or when I get into my car... Everything I touch is made of plastic, from the steering wheel, to the gear shift, to every control knob on the dashboard.
Or how about right now, as I type on my plastic keyboard, and move my plastic mouse?
The bottom line is that our lives are filled with plastic. We touch it dozens or hundreds of times a day.
And we just don’t know what impact this might be having on our long-term health.