Recently, the chemicals in pizza boxes have been found to be carcinogenic. Banning these chemicals have made our pizza safe to eat again but what other dangers lurk out there in the shadows? Could you unknowingly be using unsafe containers?
It was found that over 450 industrial plastics used to hold your stuff contains estrogenic compounds. In other words estrogen. It shouldn’t be a big problem if you don’t put any of your stuff in your mouth. But food? Drink? Over 81 percent of humans are now showing trace levels of the estrogenic plastic in their system. If your man seems to be getting a little bitchier than normal, better switch his plastic coffee cup to ceramic or glass.
PVC is better known for water and waste disposal pipes but is also used in some food containers. It can also be destructive to the human body causing cancers, diabetes, birth defects and male infertility. Also, vinyl (the ‘V’ in ‘PVC’) can mimic those effects. PVC has more common uses in the nonfood world, but it is more common with food than most people think. I caution those who made their own bongs back in the 70s to be even more aware. The PVC is activated more readily when it is heated up. Pull out that old bong from college and replace it with something glass or ceramic. Don’t throw the old one away, they still make decorative ‘houseplant’ pots.
Polystyrene is used for many things such as fast food containers, meat packaging in stores, drinking cups, plastic forks and spoons among many others. A common brand name for the product is Styrofoam. Experts are now recommending we avoid it. The plastic can break down when combined with acidic or oily foods or drinks like red wine. It can also start breaking down because of the heat produced inside a microwave, especially if the food contains vitamin A. What does it break down into? Styrene and Benzene which are suspected carcinogens as well as neurotoxins. Next time you drink coffee, do not use a Styroam cup. If you want to get a buzz or stay up all night, nothing says shaking more than a neurotoxin.
Perfluoroalkyl ethyl compounds are used in pizza boxes to help keep those delicious greases and juices inside the box where they belong. The problem is, they have been linked to cancer. Those chemicals found in the box that keep your pizza wet and juicy also leech those same chemicals into your next bite of pepperoni. They have now been banned so now our pizza box should leak right to our front door.
The last item isn’t a container used for food but something even more important — ourselves. With the popular trend of smaller homes, the shipping containers that look like railroad cars without the wheels are being used for refurbished homes. Re-used containers are painted with chemicals that have phosphorous and chromate. Both can lead to internal organ failure and death. You can help prevent this by spraying foam covering over your walls to create a vapor barrier.
The other carryover are the wooden floors used by the shipping industry inside the container. Many are sprayed with pesticides to prevent those pesky little pests from destroying valuable cargo. Best thing to do there is to rip out the old wood and replace it with marine plywood.
All of those safety precautions may up the low cost of your new home and the dangers of added chemicals might make you nervous. But, you know your new home will travel safely to your new address during the next hurricane.