Plastic containers have been proven to leak estrogen into the substances they contain.
First know that estrogen is a steroid. Steroids are illegal to buy and administer without a doctors prescription. Steroids have been demonized as extremely dangerous, yet everyday we all get a mega dose of the steroid estrogen from the foods and liquids we consume. Their are some foods that can naturally raise your estrogen such as Soy, but the xenoestrogens that plastics leak out actually act as estrogen in our bodies. This effect of this is direct and rapid.
Which plastics are the cause?
Nearly all plastics can leak xenohormones. It all has to do with how these synthetic materials are made and that they contain Bisphenols.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is the key element in polycarbonate synthetics and epoxy resins. Over three million tons being produced annually all over the world. Everyday objects such as medical equipment, baby bottles and food packaging are made of PC synthetic materials. Epoxy resins are also used used to coat food and drink cans and seal drinking water pipelines. We get it from via the air, water and dental fillings as well as from the food and liquids coming into contact with the packaging materials or plastic containers.
The plastic leaks out substances that act as estrogen in the body. These substances are called xenohormones. *man-made substance that has a hormone-like effect. Plastic has been shown to leak xenoestrogens, substances that act like estrogen in the body.
Substances that are at Risk of BPA Contaimination
Anything that comes in a plastic container has been exposed to Bisphenol and thus will leak xenohormones.
- Bottled Water
- Soft Drinks
- Things you put in plastic Tupperware
- Microwaves, people often reheat food in plastic containers, this rapidly accelerates the level of xenoestrogen leakage
The Snail Study
Two researchers, Wagner and Oehlmann conducted a study on the New England Mudscale using commercially available mineral waters. Their results Environmental Science and Pollution Research.
They took twenty brands of mineral water available in Germany, nine bottled in glass, nine bottled in plastic and two bottled in paperboard boxes coasted with an inner plastic film and tested the water in them for the prescence of estrogenic chemicals. They detected contamination in 60% of the samples, 12 of twenty brands. 33% of all mineral waters bottled in glass were contaimainted, while 78% of all mineral waters bottled in plastic were contaiminated with xenosterogens.
They then went a step further. They wanted to see if these xenoestrogens would indeed act like estrogen. They used the New Zealand mud snail as a test subject and breed them in water from both the glass and plastic bottles. The researchers found more than double the number of embryos in plastic bottles compared with glass bottles.
The authors conclude: “We must have identified just the tip of the iceberg in that plastic packaging may be a major source of xenohormone* contamination of many other edibles. Our findings provide an insight into the potential exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals due to unexpected sources of contamination.”
Obesity, Breast Cancer and Impotence.
First know that estrogen is a steroid. Steroids are illegal to buy and administer without a doctors prescription. Steroids have been demonized as extremly harmful, yet everyday we all get a mega dose of the steroid estrogen from the foods and liquids we consume.
The effect of estrogen, besides it’s obvious central role in the female reproductive cycle is that increases fat and water retention. The higher your estrogen levels the more water and fat your body will hold onto. This is why women naturally hold much more fat and water than males. Obesity is not helped by the doses of estrogen we get from plastic containers.
Sheryl Crow recently spoke about her battle with breast cancer on ABC News. She mentioned how drinking water bottled in plastic left in her car was one of the causes. The xenoestrogens that leak out in plastic will cause abnormal growth in breast tissue, contributing to breast cancer.
Men are also at risk from the xenoestrogens that leak out of plastic containers. When a males estrogen levels rise the body will lower its testosterone levels. This is actually one of the bad side effects of taking Androgenic Anabolic steroids, yet we get this same effect everytime we drink water bottled in plastic or eat nearly anything. The effects of lower testosterone include, depression, impotence, fat gain, and lack of focus. This is one of the major causes of men having testosterone levels 30% lower than just thirty years ago.
Bottle-fed Babies Especially Vulnerable
BPA is a hormonally active substance that acts like the natural hormone estrogen and as an anti-androgen. Even small amounts of the substance can thus affect sexual development, especially for male fetuses and babies.
A study revealed that babies and infants absorb the most BPA. Babies fed using PC bottles are the worst affected, on average taking in 0.8 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight via bottles. This amount is well below the statutory minimum. “But the latest studies on rats have shown that even low doses can have a harmful impact on the development of the animals,” says von Götz. The exposure declines with age, although the study also shows that it depends on the kind of diet or lifestyle: people who live on a lot of canned food, warm up their meals in PC containers in the microwave or have just had a new epoxy resin-based filling are exposed to a comparatively higher dosage of BPA.
For von Götz, an important aspect is that nutrition studies should not only pay attention to what people eat, but also how the food is packed. More research might be necessary on the chain of custody as it is often unclear as to how substances like BPA ultimately get into the food.
Final Word on Plastic Containers
Avoid all liquids and foods in plastic containers as much as you can. While most foods and containers have come into contact with plastic containers during processing we can lower the amount of xenoestrogens we get significantly by avoiding anything that comes packaged in plastics.
- Do not drink water bottled in plastic.
- Do not ever feed your baby anything bottled in plastic.
- Never put any plastic in the microwave, this rapidly speeds up the rate at which xenoestrogens are absorbed into the food.
- Wagner et al. Endocrine disruptors in bottled mineral water: total estrogenic burden and migration from plastic bottles. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2009; DOI: 10.1007/s11356-009-0107-7
- Von Götz N et al. Bisphenol A: How the Most Relevant Exposure Sources Contribute to Total Consumer Exposure. Risk Analysis, (2010), 30, 473-487 DOI:10.1111/j.1539-6924.2009.01345.x
- Toxicol Lett. 2006 Sep 3. Laboratory of Structure-Function Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty and Graduate School of Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.
- Endocrine. 2003 Dec;22(3):275-84. Department of Pharmaco-Biology, University of Calabria Rende, Italy.
- Vom Saal F, Hughes C. An extensive new literature concerning low-dose effects of bisphenol A shows the need for a new risk assessment. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2003:111. pp. 926-933. See: http://www.ehponline.org/
- Hunt P, Koehler K et al. Bisphenol A cause meiotic aneuploidy in the female mouse. Current Biology. 13: pp. 546-553
- Akingbemi B, Sottas C, et al. Inhibition of testicular steroidogenesis by the xenoestrogen bisphenol A is associated with reduced pituitary luteinizing hormone secretion and decreased steroidogenic enzyme gene expression in rat Leydig cells. Endocrinology 145. pp. 592-603.