I tore a ligament in my wrist a week ago. I first went to an Urgent Care center where they x-rayed my wrist and didn’t see anything. Instead they gave me an Ace bandage and told me to see a specialist if it continued to hurt. I looked at the bandage, and do you know it doesn’t even come with the little metal clasp anymore? It comes with a flimsy velcro-like end that loosely grips the bandage.
It got me thinking that my children and younger people don’t have much experience with real materials. Almost everything they use is plastic. Simple household objects are now made of plastic instead of glass, metal, or even wood.
- Ice cube trays
- Mixing Bowls
- Many drinking glasses
- Some eating and serving utensils
- Mechanical Pencils
- Key chains
- Or are almost extinct: Typewriters, Payphones
Okay, maybe not everything (keys, pots and pans, china, etc.) but much of their daily lives is plastic. I saw this article, A Threat to Male Fertility, in the NY Times while this was on my mind. Plastic is in more than we are aware:
The gender gap was particularly wide when it came to phthalates, those ubiquitous compounds used to make plastics more flexible and cosmetic lotions slide on more smoothly. Women who wore cosmetics often had higher levels of phthalates in their bodies, as measured by urinalysis. But only in their male partners were phthalate levels correlated with infertility.
I know that sometimes my friends and family think I’m over the top with my desire to eat traditional foods, pastured raised meats, organically grown, non-GMO, non-processed food products. I also do not use commercial moisturizers or lotions. But reading this kind of information makes me think I’m not doing enough!
Phthalates belong to a group of industrial compounds known as endocrine disruptors because they interfere with the endocrine system, which governs the production and distribution of hormones in the body. The chemicals have been implicated in a range of health problems, including birth defects, cancers and diabetes.
I do use plastic containers to store food, and at work, I will put them in the microwave. Time to rethink that practice?
Phthalates…include not only cosmetics and plastics, but also packaging, textiles, detergents and other household products. Phthalates are found in the tubing used in hospitals to deliver medications; in water flowing through PVC pipes; enteric coatings on pills, including some aspirin; materials used to create time-release capsules; and countless other products. In 2008, the government banned them in children’s toys, and the European Union is also moving forward on restrictions.
This is why I get so annoyed at people who are seeking cures for diseases. We should be looking to prevent disease rather than cure it. That’s my goal anyway.