Is your body at stake?

There is strong evidence that your body is at stake —people are exposed to plastics and their additives every day in a variety of ways. We already know that many additives in plastic are considered extremely harmful, but there is no complete understanding of the effects of plastic itself on human health yet.

MAJORITY OF ADDITIVES NOT TESTED

This is alarming. We are exposed to all kinds of plastic and hundreds of additives, from hormone disruptors like BPA and BPF to brominated flame retardants, every day. There is no escape. These chemicals give plastics characteristics such as plasticity, color, malleability, durability, and the hardness that some products need. Many of these additives are endocrine disruptors which have been shown to have harmful effects on life, especially when exposure occurs in developmental stages. Even more alarming is the fact that the vast majority of additives have not been tested at all.

Exposure to plastic

So far, there has been consistent evidence indicating that exposure to plastics and the additives therein may lead to a variety of health complications. Plastic particles have been found in human feces, for example –but what does plastic do to our bodies? To summarize: endocrine disrupting chemicals, often used to make plastic clear and durable, are associated with a disruption in fertility cycles, delayed neurodevelopment in children, immune disorders, and a higher risk of hormone-related cancers.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals furthermore affect thyroid function and the metabolism. These chemicals have also been found in human breast milk. We not only consume microplastics when we eat contaminated food, but plastic microfibers are present in the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, and even the water we drink — there is indeed no escape.

Is plastic cause for concern?

How much plastic have you come into contact with today, and how much of that is cause for concern? Your clothes may be synthetic or contain a certain percentage of synthetic material; your toothbrush is probably plastic; what about your keyboard? Maybe you wear plastic glasses; if you’re wearing makeup, there’s a very high chance that it contains plastic ingredients, especially if it’s waterproof. There are the containers you store food in and synthetic carpeting. The list is overwhelming.

WHAT IS IT DOING TO OUR BODIES?

We’re not saying this is problematic in and of itself. What we’re saying is that the realm of what we do not know about plastics and what they do to our bodies is so vast, that coupled with our constant exposure to it, we can’t help but be very concerned.

By supporting us you can help our coalition with finding evidence.

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Plastic is killing

At this stage, plastic has become ubiquitous in our world. It is common knowledge that its presence in the environment poses an immense risk to wildlife. But what about us? Isn’t it logical that if the excess of plastic is killing dolphins and turtles, that it could be disastrous for humans as well?

MORE RESEARCH NEEDED

This may not entail us trapped in six-pack plastic rings or choking on straws. It’s the toxic additives and constant unwitting exposure to plastics that we need to be concerned about. We need more research, and in the meantime, we need to drastically cut down on our reliance on plastic —it’s everywhere, putting our planet and our bodies at stake.

Read our Position Paper
Groundbreaking research projects

ZonMw, a Dutch organisation that finances health research, has given the green light to 15 short-term research projects. These pilot projects focus on the effects of micro- and nanoplastics on human health. A total amount of 1.6 million euros has been made available for these studies by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, NWO),  the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund, and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Scientific research into potentially harmful effects of micro-and nanoplastics at the cellular and organ level is still in its infancy worldwide. With more and more alarm bells ringing about the suspected health risks of plastic, this new scientific research is more urgently needed than ever. The Netherlands, with these ZonMw Studies, is positioning itself as one of the global leaders in this field.

The research projects are divided into four topics: the digestive system, the lungs, immunology, and the spread of micro-and nanoplastics to other parts of the human body. The Plastic Health Coalition will regularly communicate about the various projects and findings on this page.

Plastic Health Summit

The 2019 Plastic Health Summit was such a huge success that we decided to continue it for the next two years. Once again, this event will take place in Amsterdam. Would you like to join us? Then please block the 29th of October 2020 in your agenda! This edition promises to be even more spectacular than last year!

Watch all individual talks
Plastic test lab

Do you want to know if there are plastics or dangerous plastic additives in your drinking water, tea bags, vacuum cleaner bags, meat, furniture, wet wipes, or toothpicks? We sure do! That’s why we’re going to test a wide variety of products over the course of at least three years. All these products and more will be tested in a lab at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) of Amsterdam, under the supervision of Dr. Heather Leslie.

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The ultimate plastic diet

This video shows us that we all need to go on a plastic diet. By doing so you can reduce the amount of plastic you use. We provide you with the right alternatives to prevent yourself from getting sick because of the toxic chemicals sometimes added to plastics.

Start your plastic diet now
Blog

This website gives you scientific information about plastic in relation to our health. But our health is such a precious matter that we also want to reflect on this on a more personal note. Here you can read blogs where we contemplate on the use of plastic in our daily lives and how to get a more balanced relationship with it.

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