3 (actually doable) ways to reduce your plastic exposure at home
While there is an entire alphabet of chemicals that are harmful to human health, studies have shown that phthalates and BPA/BPF/BPS are particularly dangerous. The former makes the plastic soft, like a flimsy water bottle you buy at the gas station, and the latter makes the plastic hard, like a durable, dishwasher-safe reusable water bottle.
These chemicals affect human hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, so they are commonly referred to as endocrine disruptors. Many scientists and environmental experts have linked the rise of these endocrine disruptors in our environment to reproductive disorders, such as reduced fertility, increased miscarriage rates, and changes in the number and quality of eggs in the ovaries. Between 1973 and 2011, the total sperm count of Western men fell by 59%, which makes sense given that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can lower testosterone levels in men.
Shanna Swan, Ph.D., a leading environmental and reproductive health epidemiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, found that pregnant women exposed to endocrine disruptors gave birth to male babies with significantly smaller penises and anal-genital distances. In other words, the chemicals the pregnant women were exposed to lowered the testosterone levels in their male fetuses enough to have a physically measurable effect. Scientists have observed this effect on male frogs for decades, but seeing it in humans is alarming, to say the least.
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