Center for Political Awareness

Tiny Particles of Plastic Now Pollute Our Food, Water and Even the Clouds

From the deep ocean to the sky, microplastics are now everywhere, and fossil fuel firms are still ramping up production. (Click image for article.)

Image: AYO WALKER / TRUTHOUT 

The bad news about the plastic crisis often seems as ubiquitous as plastic itself. But, like many pressing issues, it also seems to come and go with a breeziness that belies its urgency. That couldn’t be truer than it is in the case of three recent reports on the penetration of microplastics, nanoplastics and plasticizers into our food and water and, therefore, into our bodies.

The first story came from the intrepid investigators at Consumer Reports (CR). They tested a variety of foods in a variety of packaging and the results were shocking. Plasticizers, the chemical components that make plastic so malleable and, therefore, so ubiquitous, are infused throughout our food supply, from Annie’s Organic Cheesy Ravioli to Wendy’s Crispy Chicken Nuggets, from General Mills Cheerios to Del Monte Sliced Peaches in 100% Fruit Juice, from Hormel Chili With Beans to Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon in Water. Those products all topped their respective categories for “total phthalates per serving.”

Amazingly, a full 99 percent of the well-known, widely consumed products tested by CR conclusively showed we regularly eat a hearty helping of phthalates and bisphenols when we chow down a variety of foods. These chemicals can mimic estrogen and disrupt the endocrine system. In the case of a “well-studied,” widely used phthalate called “DEHP,” CR noted its links to “insulin resistance, high blood pressure, reproductive issues, early menopause, and other concerns at levels well below the limits set by American and European regulators.”

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