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Protecting Against Plastic Solution

By Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, MDs

In 1969, Yoko’s Plastic Ono Band was called visionary and, frankly, hard to figure out. Membership in the group was plastic-elastic, including audience members and any musicians who were hanging around. But since then, the onslaught of plastic pollution that permeates the air we breathe, the food we eat, and our oceans and streams have made it a far less hip-sounding name for a band.

We’re all trying to give up plastic bags and opt for glass and paper containers, as scientists rush to invent ways to separate plastic from water and air. It’s essential because chemicals used to make plastic can cause cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, reproductive issues, and developmental problems in a fetus, newborn, or child.

A recent study alerts mothers-to-be of one more plastic hazard. Swedish researchers found that when a male fetus is exposed to bisphenol F (BPF), which is used in making plastic, he may have a lower IQ at age 7. BPF has that effect because it causes a fetus’ genes that influence neurological development to switch on or off. Exposure in utero can come from the mother’s diet or food packaging, when she ingests and inhales household dust, or from handling thermal receipt paper.

Bisphenol A (BPA) leaches into food when used to line cans, print receipts, or make plastic. BPF is a relative of BPA. So make every effort to avoid plastic (substitutes for BPA and F are also risky). Wash your hands after touching a receipt, and stick to fresh, unpackaged foods.