Welcome to the Toxic Wasteland!

“Life in plastic is fantastic”, sang a Danish pop band years ago.
Let’s have a plastic-and-toxins quiz, shall we?

So, here comes the quiz.
I’ve been asked many times about why I say that we live in a toxic wasteland, and while the issue itself is insanely complicated and huge, today I want to just give you an overview.
Maybe you’ll get ideas what you could get rid of, too? That would be the best part of our Quest.plastic-alert

“Welcome to the shiny new utopia made of petroleum!
Bullet-proof petroleum, microwave-safe petroleum, convenient petroleum!
Petroleum is magic that can become toys, clothes, tools or furniture!”

Right below is a list of everyday items.
Do you know which of those can contain toxic compounds originating from plastic, that damage your health and/or the environment during production, recycling or waste disposal?

1. Capsules (med)
2. Glue
3. Wire/cable
4. Shower curtains
5. Gym mats
6. Food packaging
7. Car interiors
8. Vegan leather
9. Sex toys
10. Rain coats
11. Plastic shoes
12. Air mattresses
13. Catheters
14. Fabric with elastane
15. Foam materials in furniture
16. PVC floor coating
17. Truck tarps
18. Food containers
19. Microwave-save plastic containers
20. Polyester garments
21. Plastic bags

Have you said “yes, this” to all items listed here?
Well, congrats. Kind of.
Because you’re right.

The plastics in our pretty industrial world are made from naphta (petroleum). If you remember the tragic microbeads/microplastics issue – these two go hand in hand really. Synthetics, today, are vital for every industry and a multi-billion-Euro business.
The problems with this continuous exposure are evident – and proven: Plastics/synthetics cause enviromental pollution, and the toxins they leach can lead to allergies, obesity, infertility, heart diseases, and cancer.

But which are the worst offenders?

Type of plastic (found in) -> what it leaches / toxicology
1. PVC (food packaging, shower curtains, toys, plastic thongs, car interiors…) -> phthalates / endocrine disruptors, release further toxins; vinyl chloride / mutagenic, Tributyltin hydride / very toxic, dangerous endocrine disruptor (in smallest dosage).
2. Polycarbonate (water bottles, clear containers, microwave-safe containers, eyewear lenses) -> BPA / obesity, hyperactivity, diabetes; cancirogenic.
3. PET or Polyethylene-Terephthalate (food & beverage containers, PET bottles, polyester fabrics) -> Acetaldehyde / irritant, cancirogenic.
4. Polystyrene (packaging, yoghurt pots) -> styrene / toxic, mutagenic, cancirogenic.
5. Polyurethane (foam, i.a. furtniture; varnishes; elastane) -> toluene diisocyanate / very toxic.
6. Tetrafluoroethylene (non-stick coating on cookware) -> Tetrafluoroethylene / cancirogenic.

Sources: Breast Cancer Fund, BUND, News Medical, Ecology Center 

Here’s a handy reminder that you can print out (adjust your printer to make your reminder as large or small as you like):caution-plastic-worst-offenders

Thoughts? Questions? Doubts? 



Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at BEAUTYCALYPSE.com (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

11 Responses

  1. On one hand, I enjoy learning and researching all these things so much. On the other, sometimes, just sometimes, I’d rather not know what’s lurking out there.

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