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Global plastic production has reached a staggering 350 million tons per year, with approximately 250,000 tons floating in our oceans and the rest being on land either recycled (less than 9%) or thrown into the landfill. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, as we all know, plastic does not degrade; instead, it breaks down into nano- and microparticles hence accessing a new form of transportation for contamination, air and water.
Microplastics are defined as being less than 5 mm in length. While overall awareness has been on the rise, the extent to which they are prevalent in our everyday lives is primarily unknown and yet it is astonishing. For instance, the holidays are on their way and while we will all be having a jolly time with our family and friends by the table eating our traditional Christmas dinner, did you know that there could be more than 230,000 microplastics on the table? Or perhaps that microplastics have been found in human breast milk in feeding mothers? Or even the fact that we eat up to 5 grams of plastic per week from our sources of food, water, and certain consumer products?
How do these plastics affect us?
Research is still preliminary, but some hypothesize that exposure could lead to oxidative stress, DNA damage, and chronic inflammatory or immune reactions, among health complications. However, just because we do not know the full extent of its harm, there is no reason why we should not take preventative action.
What can I do to minimize plastic uptake?
Until we find a way to effectively and environmentally use and dispose of our plastics, we will always be at risk for microplastic consumption; however, we can drastically minimize our intake!
- Buy and wear natural clothing.
- The less that surrounds you, the lower the risk of inhalation.
- Lower the settings of your washing machine.
- A single load of laundry can release up to one million microplastic fibres, so by installing a filter or just lowering the setting of the machine, the likelihood of plastic fibres tearing away from the cloth minimizes.
- Say no to the plastic bag.
- This one is self-explanatory.
- Buy plastic free-cosmetics
- Some PFAS (read our PFAS blog for more information) are plastic based.
- Take advantage of Dr.Anna’s re-fillable skincare products.
Note: Our cosmetic products are 100% safe, free of toxins and effective for any age and skin condition
Ask Dr. Anna
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