Indiscriminate use of Plastic Bottles for storing Food & Water is causing serious health ailments, say experts

Several renowned and experienced doctors from leading hospitals as well as research studies conducted by international bodies, have cautioned and warned against consuming food and drinking items which are packaged or wrapped in plastic bottles & containers:

1. Dr. Avi Kumar, Consultant Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute:

According to him, “plastic is everywhere; it has subtly become an inherent part of our life. Easy to access, we eat and drink out of plastic containers, and even store and wrap our food in it. Cheap and durable plastics are held together by a number of chemicals which are potential carcinogens. Two of these are bisphenol-A (known as BPA) and phthalates.

BPA has the potential to disturb and upset the endocrine system, the metabolic functioning, kidneys and cause extensive damage and diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Phthalates cause a number of issues such as reproductive malformations, developmental disorders, and problems with the pulmonary system resulting in asthma and allergies and direct toxicity.

2. Prof. (Dr) L. Sreenivasamurthy, Consultant Physician and Diabetologist, Apollo Hospitals:

According to him, people are exposed to these chemicals not only during manufacturing, but also by using plastic packages, because some chemicals migrate from the plastic packaging to the foods they contain. When plastic properties find their way to our cells, they can cause diseases such as osteoporosis, thyroid cancer, hypo- and hypertension, Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, low testosterone and obesity.

He recommended, “Buy food in glass or metal containers, avoid polycarbonate drinking bottles with Bisphenol A (BPA), avoid heating food in plastic containers, and storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap,” adding that young children should not be given plastic toys, and all PVC and Styrene products should be avoided.

3. Dr Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, NOVA IVI Fertility, Delhi:

Dr. Nair points out that it can lead to infertility in both men and women. “In men, exposure to chemicals in plastics is bound to affect their fertility in two ways – DNA fragmentation of the sperm and lower sperm count. As in case of women, exposure to BPA while in the womb can cause early onset of puberty and increase the infant’s risk of prostate or breast cancer as an adult. It may also affect the future fertility levels of a female fetus.

Bisphenol A which is an active component in plastic materials can be accounted for nearly 20 percent of the cases of unexplainable infertility in both men and women combined.”

4. Dr. Alfonso Abizaid, Department of Neuroscience, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada: 

Based on their research on mice, Dr. Abizaid said that “Since BPA has also been linked to obesity in humans, people need to be aware that environmental factors can lead to increased susceptibility to obesity and cardio-metabolic disorders.”

According to a study conducted by The Endocrine Society based in Washington DC, pregnant women drinking from plastic water bottles could be driving up their risk of having obese babies. The researchers found that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disruptor, is linked to an unborn child’s increased risk of obesity. When the child is exposed to BPA, they become less sensitive to a hormone responsible for controlling appetite.

As per the NYU Langone report released in October 2016, plastic bottles contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that can cause cancer, diabetes, ADHD, autism and loss of IQ among other neurological illnesses. Yet they are found in thousands of everyday products, ranging from plastic and metal food containers, to detergents, flame retardants, toys and cosmetics. These chemicals are responsible for scores of illnesses – costing the US an astonishing $340 billion in health-related costs each year, claimed the report.

Sources:

  1. Article dated 14th Jun, 2019 in Indianexpress.com. Click here
  2. Article dated 8th Feb, 2017 in food.ndtv.com. Click here
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