Friday, November 2, 2007

Plastic perils

One page from this delightful book, which I used to make Dean one of these bad boys for his Halloween day lunch box treat (his was white and taupe, with a batman-type mask and a 'trick-or-treat' banner in its paws). Oh, Halloween's all done with already? And October's over, too? Where have I been?

Well, one thing I've been doing is researching plastic (particularly BPA content in food containers and in the lining of canned foods) and searching out replacements. Read more about the dangers of chemical leaching into foods and drinks, but only if you're prepared to shop for replacements. This time (unlike my microwave panic), Ken's on board, having checked the sources for all this information and finding solid science behind it. There IS controversy, because the plastics industries/bottle and can manufacturers, etc., are claiming that while BPA is present and does pose health risks, that the amounts needed to reach toxic levels are higher than what people's 'normal' exposure would be. The challenge is that there are myriad health risks, and the ability of BPA to interfere with hormonal/reproductive health occurs at the kind of low levels that use of these plastics delivers. The biggest risk is to children who stand to face a lifetime's daily exposure. Go here and download their "Smart Plastics Guide/Healthier Food Uses of Plastics" for some helpful details.

I have ordered, at the staggering cost of about $60 (includes shipping), three stainless steel drink containers designed for lunch box use for Dean, and also found a great list of links for even more information at that site. While I cannot deny that $20 a piece for a drink container would, under any other circumstances, be unthinkable for me, limiting Dean's exposure as quickly as I can in as many ways as I can is critical. He will still be exposed to Bisphenol A (BPA), Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and Polystyrene (PS) -- these toxins are everywhere, given that very little food or drink is packaged in glass anymore (which, of course, uses more fossil fuels for shipping, etc.) -- but I want to take charge every place I can. And as with the China-free thing, I want to send clear messages with my purchasing.

It is easy to get stuck in feeling hopeless. When I first started down this path, I almost gave up; after having figured out how to package Dean's lunch foods differently, I realized the sources for those foods were plastic containers that the stuff gets packaged and sold in. But it's back to that idea of incremental change and wanting to do what I can. If you find good sources for alternatives to plastic, please do share.

1 comment:

Felicia said...

Sometimes modern technology isn't all its cracked up to be. After using products for years its shocking to see how many have ended up being harmful.