By now, you have likely heard that BPA and Phthalates are harmful for your health, but what even are they? How are they harmful? Why should we be sure to steer clear from them, or is it all just more plastic propaganda? Today, we will be exploring the what’s and why’s behind these two toxic compounds.
BPA and Phthalates are two very different components that are commonly found in plastics. They can be found in common household products such as water bottles, shampoo bottles, children’s toys, toothpaste containers, honestly the list could go on for forever. Typically, BPA is used to extend the life cycle of plastics by creating a protective bond that allows plastics to be heated and cooled without breaking, while Phthalates are used to soften plastics and allow them to be more malleable.
The dangers behind these compounds may extend beyond our current knowledge, though ongoing studies and testing are helping us to identify what some of the long-term effects are when we use these products. While BPA and Phthalates are still actively used around the world today, many countries have already banned certain Phthalates from children’s toys.
While the two compounds are very different and provide plastics with different outcomes, there are many similarities regarding their impacts on the human body. Toxicity is mainly concentrated in the liver, kidney, thyroid, and reproductive systems. Common concerns revolve around thyroid function, reproductive health, respiratory issues, disrupted metabolism, and hormone imbalance.
So why does this concern you? Most food packaging allows for BPA and Phthalates, but the real problem comes from food’s ability to absorb the chemicals. The disturbing part is that many countries, including Canada and the USA, acknowledge that it’s dangerous for these compounds to be inside the human body (ie. banning BPA and Phthalates from children’s toys).
So, when the foods we eat are absorbing the harsh chemicals, those chemicals are going directly into our bodies and we are none the wiser. If you go into your local grocery store, you won’t find a warning label stating “may contain BPA/Phthalates” on your chicken packaging, but it goes directly into our bodies without a single thought.
As a conscious society, we need to be more aware of the implications of our daily actions, especially when it comes to consumption. Therefore so many gardeners across the world trust our safe, long lasting garden beds and planters. You can finally rest assured knowing that you will be growing truly safe foods for your families.
While you’re here, check out these interesting case studies!
Bisphenol A and phthalates exhibit similar toxicogenomics and health effects:
Human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA):
Plastics Derived Endocrine Disruptors (BPA, DEHP and DBP):
The adverse health effects of bisphenol A and related toxicity mechanisms:
PHTHALATES AND HUMAN HEALTH:
Phthalates: Exposure and Health Effects:
Phthalates and other additives in plastics: human exposure and associated health outcomes: