We’ve all heard about the effects of plastic pollution on the environment. But little do most people know that it does more than destroy our planet. The impact of plastics on human health is, in fact, just as harmful. When you learn how damaging it is to your body, would you be more proactive in helping resolve this crisis?
Let’s find out. In this article, we will talk about today’s biggest horror story: how plastics are destroying the human body without us fully realizing it.
Plastics harm the environment and us at every stage of their lifecycle. Sadly, they don’t just affect our biodiversity and worsen the effects of climate change. Here are some very real horrors they can cause inside your body:
One of the biggest dangers of plastic is the exposure that comes with its manufacturing and usage. Workers in plastic production plants are not the only ones exposed to the toxic substances used to create plastics. In fact, end consumers also suffer the same fate. This is primarily due to the usage of plastic in almost every aspect of our daily lives.
Microplastics are found everywhere, from electronics and furniture, down to actual consumer products like meat, fruits, and vegetables. The common use of plastic in our everyday lifestyle means that we drink, eat, and even breathe them 24/7.
According to EcologyCenter.org, chemicals like acetaldehyde, styrene, and antioxidants from polyethylene—the most commonly produced type of plastic worldwide—easily contaminate food.
Exposure to these can cause a slew of health problems, from minor irritation to major ones like birth defects and cancer.
Experts have identified some of these chemicals to be highly hazardous to human health, specifically our hormone system. For example, bisphenol A or BPA, which is commonly used in plastic containers and polycarbonate bottles, is known to disrupt the endocrine system.
Close exposure to this can also cause impaired neurodevelopment in children, immune disorders, and hormone-related cancers.
Environmental Health News claims that hyperactivity in children might be linked to high levels of BPAs in their bodies.
According to the study, BPA exposure affects brain development which makes children more prone to developing Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. While it is unclear what exactly causes the disorder, research says that it might be a combination of genetics and constant exposure to environmental chemicals that might be the root cause of it.
ADHD is one of the most common behavioral disorders which affects children’s capacity to concentrate and control their behavior.
Scientists have warned about the negative impacts of inhaling microplastic particles in the air. Every time you breathe these small particles, your lung tissues absorb them, causing dendritic cells to engulf them.
Unfortunately, while these important cells can break down and process bacteria, they cannot do the same for microplastics. What happens is that the cells try to break down these particles over and over again which then causes chronic inflammation in our lungs.
Chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of health problems like diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and cancer.
The effects of plastic pollution are one of the most terrifying realities that we have to live through every day. Fortunately, this is also a type of problem that can be fixed by making a simple choice.
If plastic usage is the cause of all these dangers, then the shift to biodegradable packaging is the simple answer. Businesses switching from single-use plastics to more eco-friendly options, for example, is a big step in the right direction. As for consumers, being more proactive in supporting brands that champion sustainability in the Philippines can make a huge difference. By doing this, we can slowly but surely shift to a way of living that is healthy for us and the environment.
Are you looking for biodegradable packaging that is affordable, versatile, and accessible? We offer sustainable packaging options here at Oikos Sustainable Solutions that check out all of these factors.
Our best-selling corn and cassava bags are 100% plant-based and compostable—guaranteed to have zero plastic in them. Designed for versatility, we offer them in various styles that fit everyday use. Our buy bags, trash bags, and clean bags are perfect for businesses and consumers alike, and we also have mailer bags that are ideal for eCommerce packaging. Help us put an end to the negative impact of plastics on human health. Explore more of our products here.