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Monday, May 5

US 'slow to act'? Thanks, Captain Obvious...

I think by this point most everyone's heard about plastics being a poor packaging choice for foods and beverages because of issues to do with polymer and plasticizer and chemical residue migration into the stuff we store.

Well, the feds have known for years anecdotally that the plasticizers in particular behave like endocrine disruptors. There's a whole class of chemicals, the phthalates, that are used in this capacity, and that migrate terribly and become stored in our tissues. And they tend to occur in personal care products that are fragranced, such as shampoos, liquid soaps, conditioners, lotions, mass-market perfumes... Diethyl phthalate in particular (DEP) is actually a carrier for aromatics. This is something I learned back when I was stirring pots of soap by hand, and scenting with synthetic fragrances (and wondering why I was getting headaches for the scent, but that's another topic). Long stupid story, but I accidentally ingested a trace amount of fragrance, looked up the MSDS in a panic, and found a shitload of articles about endocrine disruption.

Anyway, over in the EU, they know better. Sort of. They still allow the presence of DEP in personal care products and kind of disregard the science that points to them being problematic. But they quit using phthalates as plasticizers in children's toys awhile back. Like that PVC toy is innocuous without the added endocrine disruptor dreck (Jesus wept).

The one that's finally making the news here in a fashionably late to the party sorta way is bisphenol A.

We've been manufacturing food and beverage packaging with this dreck for ages. It's in baby bottles, the linings of cans, polycarbonate plastic water bottles. You know, yet another in our bevy of wonder plastics!

And it's toxic. And because our gov't turns the other way on this kind of thing, they're still in denial and really hoping that people will shut up about it, like they'd really love for us to shut the hell up about mercury in canned tuna so that BumbleBee and Starkist and whoever the hell can continue to make piles of money.

Anyway, that's enough editorializing from me.

Here are some links to read further.

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