Video: Plastics health risk
A simple test shows harmful plasticisers in our food wrapping.
BPA and phthalates are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can mimic the body’s natural hormones and thereby cause a raft of health problems. Infants and the very young are most vulnerable to exposure because of their lower body weight and because their growth and development are strongly influenced by hormones; the effects on health can be lifelong. These effects have been seen clearly and consistently in experiments with animals and when people or wildlife have been accidentally exposed to high levels of endocrine disruptors. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a statement calling for more research into the possible harmful effects of BPA, reinforcing growing concerns about its safety.
While these compounds are undoubtedly hazardous at high levels of exposure, scientific opinion is divided over the risk from the much lower levels that we’re exposed to every day in our food. There is, however, growing scientific evidence that even at these lower levels of exposure, phthalates and BPA may be causing problems such as infertility, obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
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