Plastic & Human Health

History of plastic 

Leo Baekeland invented synthetic plastic. Polystyrene in 1929, polyester (found in clothes) in 1930, and nylon in 1935. At first, the war had a high demand for plastic, therefore it allowed the industry to expand. After the war, they had to come up with new ways to use this convenient invention. Outcomes, food and drink packaging and other single-use consumer items. Most of these items were produced in 1948. Therefore, plastic has only been around for about 70 years! Our grandparents once lived without it, so why can’t we?

Health Impact 


The fact that plastic has been around for about 70 years also means that we do NOT know the adverse effects of plastic on our health, wildlife, and the environment. 

Let’s start with our health. How can plastic harm you directly?

Plastic contains toxic chemicals that can get into your body and bloodstream through direct contact, it can leak through what you eat and drink, and through the air.

There are many different types of plastic. Many of them have been directly linked to cancer even in very low doses. It’s not just cancer, plastic has been proven to cause birth defects, genetic changes, chronic bronchitis, ulcers, skin diseases, deafness, vision failure, indigestion, liver dysfunction, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and many other issues we face today because of the use of plastic. 


One of the most common uses of plastic is disposable water bottles. One of the easiest single-use plastics you can avoid. Why should you? Well, they contain BPA, an industrial chemical that scientists have found out that even when we are exposed to it in VERY low doses, it can cause cancer, impaired immune function, altered thyroid hormone concentrations, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity, and the list goes on.  


“BPA was first developed over a hundred years ago as a synthesized estrogen”  Until about 70 years ago, they realized that it could be used in water bottles and other plastic products even though the industry knew that it had hormonal effects. Therefore, it has adverse effects on our health. 

Many studies have been published stating the harmful impact on BPA which made the public concerned and that lead companies to produce BPA-free products, assuming that they're safe to use. However, BPA-free is sometimes worse than regular plastic, as it often contains more BPS or BPF which are both as toxic as BPA. They alter testosterone production and estrogen receptor activity. The best solution is to avoid all plastics or at least avoid buying food and beverages packaged in plastic, don't expose the plastic to heat (no microwave or dishwasher), don't leave them in hot places, and don't use them if they're scratched.

For a detailed list of the dangers of specific types of plastic and their direct cause, read this.

The FDA 

"The FDA reversed its opinion on BPA, saying it does now have concerns about health risks. The agency stopped short of issuing any regulations, citing an outdated regulatory framework, but recommended that people reduce their exposure to BPA" I was confused and frustrated at first trying to understand why the FDA won’t ban BPA. I read the studies they have published and got confused about the contradicting findings. However, after watching this video, I understood what was happening.

Apparently, The safe limit indicated by organizations is actually not safe as assumed. How? Well, since BPA alters our hormones, when it’s consumed at a level of 100 it has the same results as when it’s consumed at a level of 0.

What? Well when the hormone receptors are filled, it doesn’t really make a difference. That’s what got the experts confused. In fact, BPA has been proven to be incredibly dangerous even when consumed in trace amounts. It is apparent that BPA cuts our hormone release nearly in HALF! Watch this video from Dr. Micheal Greger for a better explanation.