When you go to the store to buy products for your family, you will see that plastic is still the most common material that is being used – especially in the making of baby and kid products. Plastic products can be found everywhere you go, and at a generally inexpensive cost. While informed parents know that it is better to spend a few more dollars on the eco-friendly, high quality alternative, most parents are going to go with the cheaper plastic product.
Here’s why that’s a bad thing: the more parents that buy plastic products, the higher the demand, and the more plastic will be produced. What we’ve now learned about plastic is that it contains chemicals that are harmful to our children and have real, damaging effects on their health. That’s why it’s more important than ever to stop buying plastic and look into healthier, safer alternatives.
The case against plastic
Plastics have many versatile properties that have made them quite useful in our society. But each year millions of tons of plastic are produced worldwide…and each year approximately 10-20 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans. Remembering that plastics are petroleum-based products, it is not surprising that the chemicals and compounds that help make these plastics so versatile are the same chemicals that end up harming our families and the environment. Not only do these chemicals leach into the human body, they end up in the oceans injuring our wildlife and can end up spreading into groundwater from landfills.
How does it affect our health?
The chemicals found in plastic are exposed to people through the air, dust, food, water, and everyday use of plastic products. The biggest culprits are BPA, Phthalates, and PVC.
BPA, or Bisphenol-A, is a chemical used to harden plastics. It is often found in the lining of food/drink cans, and used to be common in baby bottles and sippy cups. BPA is believed to act as a hormone, thereby disrupting normal hormone levels and development in children. It is also thought to affect the brain and child behavior. Studies have also shown there could be a link between BPA exposure and cancer and heart problems. This is definitely a cause for concern when the CDC has found over 90% of people in the US have BPA in their bodies.
Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastics and are used in personal care products, toys, electronics, and more. Phthalates have not been safety evaluated, but are known to be endocrine-disruptors just like BPA – so they can cause similar health issues. The CPSC has banned 6 types of phthalates from toys, but they can still be found in several other products made for kids.
PVC, or Polyvinyl chloride, is the most toxic form of plastic made from vinyl chloride – a known human carcinogen. The chemicals from PVC are dissipated into the air and are easily inhaled or absorbed by people. It creates and releases dioxins, also known carcinogens, that lead to health issues such as cancer, birth defects, diabetes, learning and developmental delays, endometriosis, and immune system abnormalities.
What you can do
Now that you know about the harmful effects of plastic products, it’s time to take action against plastic. There are several plastic alternatives out there including glass, organic cotton, wool, stainless steel, and bamboo! When making purchases for your family, always try to look for products that are reusable instead of one-time use products. These types of disposable products are usually made of plastic. This is especially important when buying food/drink products for your kids. Do not buy anything plastic that will be touching your child’s food or drinks. Think: baby bottles, feeding bowls and cups, utensils, storage containers, water bottles, etc. The less plastic you use at home, the more comfortable you will feel knowing that you are doing your part to keep your family safe and protect the environment.
Written by Cameron and Lorilyn Honarvar, Founders of Pacific Baby. Cameron was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked in investment banking for several years. He spent time in Hong Kong. He's been in the baby product business since 1995 - spending 10 years as a retailer, 10 years as a distributor, and then 5 years now as the founder, along with his wife Lorilyn, of Pacific Baby. Lorilyn has designed many of the company’s products, and manages Pacific Baby’s marketing and promotional activities.
Presently, the Honarvar's run Pacific Baby, a line of natural and safe bamboo tableware for babies and kids, and getting their message out regarding environmentally sustainable and healthy feeding products!
For more information, visit www.pacificbabyworld.com.
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