The Dangers of Plastics

We ingest countless chemicals through contaminated foods and beverages. We inhale them in microscopic particles and reabsorb them through our skin. These forever chemicals do endless harm once inside the human body, this is because some are not water-soluble, so they don’t degrade, and they are stored in the body fat and other tissues. Chemicals are largely presumed innocent; they’re considered safe until proven otherwise and of course, in that process, they can cause humans a lot of harm.

DDT for example has a half-life in humans of up to fifteen years. So that’s how long it takes for its concentration in the body to fall to half its original value. Non-persistent chemicals such as BPA, phenols and phthalates are water-soluble, so they wash out of the body, however human exposure to many non-persistent chemicals via plastic tends to be fairly regular because of our continual use of plastic products in our daily life.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with the body’s endocrine and or hormone system. The endocrine system is a complex network of glands and organs that produce and secrete hormones.

Here are just a few examples of products that humans are regularly exposed to that contain these chemicals:

  • Children’s toys
  • Plastic drinking bottles
  • Cleaning products
  • Household dust
  • Home furniture/electronics
  • Building materials
  • Fragrances
  • Food
  • Food packaging
  • Thermal receipts
  • Drinking water
  • Personal care products

…And the list goes on and on.

For reproductive health, phthalates, bisphenol A, flame retardants, and pesticides are of paramount concern – with phthalates having the strongest influences on male fertility while BPA is particularly bad for female hormonal health.

BPA can induce oestrogen-like changes in the female body. There’s compelling evidence that women who have high blood levels of BPA may have an increased risk of fertility challenges, including difficulty becoming pregnant; whether this is because the chemical has a detrimental effect on the function of various reproductive organs or on the proper cycle of oestrogen levels, which is crucial for ovulation is unclear.

The other distressing fact about endocrine-disrupting chemicals is that they can have harmful effects even at low doses. You can get exposure from ordinary everyday contact like for example, when applying body lotion to your skin or carrying your shopping in a plastic bag.

The lifestyle and chemical-related stressors that can alter a man’s or woman’s reproductive health can also modify the expression of his or her genetic code and possibly affect future generations and their families.

Most startling was the finding that when subsequent generations were exposed to these endocrine-disrupting chemicals, the effects of the originally reported changes in sperm-producing cells were amplified. In addition, the incidence of severity of reproductive tract abnormalities – such as kinking or collapse of the vas deferens (which helps sperm move from the testicles to the urethra) and testicular fibrosis (which can cause infertility) were increasingly observed, suggesting an additive effect. The impacts were worse in the second generation compared to the first generation and worse still in the third. That the damage got worse and worse as more generations were exposed suggests that male sensitivity to environmental oestrogens is increased in successive generations that are exposed to common endocrine-disrupting chemicals, leading to a progressive decrease in sperm counts over multiple generations.

As these second, third, and fourth-generation relatives are subjected to these harmful environmental influences, they become more sensitive to their effects, and there could be inherited DNA damage as well.

Research shows that this can be reversed to a certain extent. In mice, they provided the supplement Folic acid and that helped to mitigate some of the negative effects of the BPA. I have also used homoeopathic remedies to cleanse these chemicals out of the body with great success.

When you give nature a chance she can repair herself. Homeopathic remedies made from these chemicals such as Poly Soft Plastics, BPA and Poly pesticides given alongside individualised homeopathic remedies have helped improve endocrine health and hormone balance as well as overall fertility.

Hormones, particularly, two of the sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone are what make reproductive function possible. Both the amount of each hormone and the ratio between these hormones are important for both sexes. The sweet spots for these ratios are different

For each sex, depending on whether you are a man or woman, your body needs optimal amounts of oestrogen and testosterone, not too much or too little of either one. To make it more complicated, the timing of their release can alter reproductive development and functionality and the transport of hormones can be an issue as well if they don’t get to the right place at the right time, essential processes such as sperm production or ovulation won’t be set into motion. Endocrine disrupting chemicals as well as lifestyle factors including diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol or drug use can alter these parameters sending levels of these crucial hormones in the wrong direction.

So what can you do to help prevent this from being an issue for you:

  • Go around your kitchen/house and swap all plastic food containers and utensils for glass, porcelain, stainless steel and wood
  • Use a loofah plant washing up pad instead of a plastic one for washing up
  • Never microwave or heat plastic food containers
  • Reduce the use of canned foods (these days you can find glass jars for many of these foods)
  • Don’t add boiled water to plastic bottles (55 times more BPA released into water versus room temperature water)
  • Avoid products with the recycle codes 3 or 7 as they contain BPA
  • If eating something that’s packaged opt for recycling codes 1,2,4 or 5 when possible (see attached plastic identification codes list).

Interestingly this week I was talking to a new couple for the first time who are just starting homeopathic treatment with me and they were telling me that they watched the programme called “Celebrity Save Our Sperm” on channel 4 (UK). After watching it they changed all their kitchen utensils and food containers to alternative materials and a month or so later got their first positive pregnancy test after 3.5 years of trying to conceive. Although sadly it ended in a chemical pregnancy, it is interesting to see that this made a significant difference to their hormone balance that allowed conception to take place for the first time. Here is a link to the programme for more info:

If you are interested in finding out more about my work and how I can help your fertility, do get in touch here and we can arrange a free video call.