Supposedly Safe Plastics Put Kids At Risk
In the past, there have been a number of discussions about the risks plastic puts us in, not just with regards to the planet and environment, but our personal health. The debates didn’t relent, and eventually changes were made to some plastics, with the chemicals in these being considered safer. Unfortunately, these safer chemicals aren’t necessarily as safe as plastics manufacturers wanted you to think they were. A new study from the NYU Langone Medical Center suggests that a couple of chemicals found in plastics regarded as safe can actually have potential harm on children and adolescents, increasing their risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
What Are The Dangerous plastic Chemicals?
The plastic chemicals that were studied and shown to be possible risks were two different phthalates. The compounds were di-isononyl phthalate, shortened as DINP, and di-isodecyl phthalate, also known as DIDP. These plastic chemicals had replaced di-2-ethylhexylphthalate (DEHP), which had been proven to come with dangerous risks of its own. The plastic chemicals being studied are being used more and more by manufacturers with the intent of strengthening plastic wrap, cosmetics, soap, and processed food containers.
What Did The Plastic Study Prove?
Researchers of this plastic chemicals study used a large number of children and adolescents to come to this conclusion. The first part of the study involved more than 1,300 children between the ages of 8 and 19. Experts looked at their urine samples. From there, they quickly made a connection between high levels of DIPP and DNPP and having high blood pressure. After this section of the study, the researchers checked 356 teenagers. High levels of the aforementioned plastic chemicals could be linked to insulin resistance. Of the adolescents with particularly high DINP levels, one in three had high insulin resistance, while only one in four teens with low concentrations of the plastic chemicals had any resistance.
What Do We Do To Help the Problem?
It seems unlikely that major steps will be taken to make safer options than these plastic chemicals any time soon, but there are still precautions that can be taken. Researchers urge people to not microwave foods in or covered by these plastic, as that can increase the risk of the plastic chemicals leaching into the food. It’s also recommended to not use plastic containers that contain these chemicals. To know if they do, check the recycle symbol on the bottom of the container. If the numbers 3, 6, or 7 are inside the symbol, DIPP and DINP have been used.