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Look out 'cause this stuff is TOXIC!

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Beware the rubber duck: According to a new book, our bodies are soaking in harmful chemicals that leach out of household items ...Read the full article

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  1. L Harder from Canada writes: I'm gradually eliminating plastic from my house. Hot food and plastic is a big no no.
  2. M A from Calgary, Canada writes: My sister has been very conscious of chemicals in various products for years and I always ignored her to a certain extent. However lately I have been giving much more thought to what I consume, the products in my house, etc. etc. because it is astonishing how certain cancers & neurological diseases have just exploded, particularly in children. I have started to take a "better safe than sorry" stance as the reality is, we just dont know the long-term effects of most chemicals in our household.
  3. Alban Leurk from Ottawax, Canada writes: Canadian Environmental activists book gets 3 pages in the Globe... and guess what the comments critical of it are simply, erased. That's freedom isn't it?
  4. Justin Payne from Richmond BC, Canada writes: How did we get into such a mess? We unwittingly pump so much crap in and on our bodies and then, intentionally ply ourselves with liquor eat bbq food and maybe even smoke a cig or three. If you're sick, the doctor will fill you full of chemicals.

    I see ads on TV for air fresheners and all I can think about is the chemicals you are spraying on your furniture and wallow in and absorb said chems and breathe them in.
    Can't be healthy.

    I read some while back, that the electric air fresheners are so cheaply made; they are a real fire hazard, not to mention the chemicals these seemingly innocent fragrance pumps spew forth. I mean really, all to cover up some ones stinky dump ‘plug it in plug it in,’ open a window.

    Must we live a better life by Dow Chemicals?
  5. Brendan Martin from Toronto, Canada writes: And yet in those four generations average life expectancy has extended by 30 years. I'll take the trade off thank you very much.
  6. Graeme Flint from Calgary, Canada writes: I am very frustrated that these conversations focus on plastics and give the impression that every plastic contains BPA and other harmful chemicals. BPA is used in the production of polycarbonate, whereas polyethylene is made of ethylene, a substance which occurs naturally in fruits and which is released into the atmosphere as fruit ripens. Water containers made of stainless steel or aluminum are prmoted as "safe" alternatives to plastic. Stainless steel contains upwards of 20% chromium, a heavy metal. Alumininum was once regarded as a contributing factor in Alzheimers disease. Plastic products are less GHG intensive to manufacture are lighter than glass or metal containers, thereby contributing to energy efficiency and GHG emission reduction in transportation, etc. They are also inherently safer than glass containers.
  7. Fake Name from Canada writes: "Justin Payne from Richmond BC, Canada writes: How did we get into such a mess? We unwittingly pump so much crap in and on our bodies and then, intentionally ply ourselves with liquor eat bbq food and maybe even smoke a cig or three. If you're sick, the doctor will fill you full of chemicals."

    Let's compare how Mr. Luddite does rejecting medicine to how someone who isn't living in the thirteenth century does.
  8. Orest Zarowsky from Toronto, Canada writes: I am PO'ed that this reformatted repost of the identical article has managed to lose the previous set of posts. While I didn't agree with many of them, this mechanism to "restart" a discussion is lame and pathetic.
  9. Orest Zarowsky from Toronto, Canada writes: @ Brendan Martin: You have raised the issue of the greatly increased lifespan we in the developed world enjoy these days.

    But you conveniently ignore the reasons for that increased lifespan. Especially the ones that were made during the course of the first half of the 20-th Century. And then there are the "new" drugs that were developed over the second half of the same Century.

    Let's start with basics like drinking water treatment and its distribution. Which includes running water inside houses. That made cleaning up - including personal hygiene - much easier. Then we can add sewage treatment. The penetration of refrigeration into individual households helped a lot too.

    Another thing that helped was the general pacification of society. See the stats on murder, etc., at the turn of the last Century vs today.

    After that, why don't we add basic anti-biotics like penicillin, sulfa drugs, assorted other anti-biotics and anti-parasitics. Not to mention the current lot of drugs that are effective against TB, Malaria, Dengue and Yellow Fever and all the rest of the diseases which Humans suffer from. Not to mention wider access to better medical care in general.

    And then there are the viral diseases, some of which - like Polio - have been dealt with, but others -like AIDS/HIV - remain a scourge.

    Oh yeah the development, implementation and enforcement of assorted food and drug safety and quality standards was also a big help in increasing lifespan.

    Plastics and chemicals are very low on the list of reasons for the increase in life-span that you cite.

    Things to ponder.
  10. Orest Zarowsky from Toronto, Canada writes: @ Graeme Flint: It is much harder to leach chrome out of a steel water bottle - regardless of contents - than it is to leach BPA out of a polycarbonate water bottle. Aluminum is a different issue.

    As for why polycarbonate water bottles got so popular, that would be due to the phthalate ester plasticizers in things like early Nalgene PE and PET water bottles. The very thing that made them flexible - aka "squeezable" - was what gave the water in them that "plasticy" flavour. That would be those phthalate esters that were off-gassing into the water.

    Oh yeah, that famous "new car smell", so beloved of many? That too is phthalate esters off-gassing from the assorted plastics in a new car. Including the upholstery.

    The relative amount of GHGs released in the manufacture of plastic vs other products usually fails to take into account that plastics are made from oil. And the refining and "mining" of oil has its own costs.

    In any case, the assorted chemicals that leach out of plastics and are tehn absorbed into our bodies are not very healthy. The real issue here is the chronic, low-level exposu7re to these chemicals. Many of which are in fact endocrine disruptors and some of which are carcinogens.

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