Some people are aware that plastic containers leach endocrine-disrupting compounds into food and water. Given that the term “endocrine-disrupting” is thrown around a lot, it’s important you understand what this means. Your endocrine system produces hormones that act as chemical messengers that govern certain processes in the body (such as sexual development in young people). An endocrine-disruptor is something that interferes with this process. Given that hormones work in microscopic doses, it doesn’t take much of a foreign compound to cause problems (this is why when health officials tell you that very little leaches out of plastic containers, they are demonstrating their fundamental ignorance of how hormones work). Endocrine disruptors are known to cause cancer, birth defects, and developmental disorders. This isn’t theory. This is known fact. Further, they can cause the feminization of males and the masculinization of females.
You may have heard of BPA (Bisphenyl-A). Perhaps you’ve also heard about phthalates (pronounced thal-ates), plasticizers added to various products to keep them flexible. These are endocrine-disrupting compounds we’ve known about for some time. Now get ready for fumarates and maleates. Both of these classes of compounds are endocrine-disrupting. Maleates are chemicals that are structurally similar to phthalates, so it is no surprise they function similarly in the human body. The real bummer of all of this: these compounds (fumarates and maleates) do not appear to be regulated by any health agency; therefore, you are leaving your health in the hands of companies who do not have your best wishes in mind. I do not mean to sound like it is a big conspiracy theory, but plastics of all kinds that contact our food and water are not beneficial to our health. Companies hide behind statements designed to confuse the consumer, implying there isn’t enough information to demonstrate causality (when, in fact, there is).
The incidence of cancer in the United States, by some estimates, now stands at 2 in 5. That means that 2 in 5 people will contract cancer in their lifetime (1 in 2 males, 1 in 3 females). The abundance of endocrine-disrupting compounds, combined with poor diets that cannot power a vital immune system, are a contributing factor (of many factors) to all of this. Focusing on the health of your endocrine system is one important way to assist with the prevention of cancer. One of the ways we accomplish this is to stop drinking any liquid out of a plastic container. Period. If it isn’t in glass or some other relatively inert material, don’t drink it. If you don’t like your tap water (and many people don’t, water which passes through a great distance of plastic tubing), then gather spring water in glass containers (such as large carboys). It may sound like a lot of work, but it contributes to a healthy endocrine system by keeping your body more free of harmful chemicals. Don’t be an uninformed consumer. You are too important to somebody on this planet to depart early due to a preventable health issue.