Rivers and oceans around the world are getting more polluted and too many people aren’t taking it seriously. Check out this video from a recent post we did on Instagram:
Part of the reason this continues is that people don’t realize how dangerous plastic is to our health. You see, plastic is a pollutant of unique concern because it is long-lasting and every single piece of plastic ever produced is still on the planet, killing our wildlife and polluting our soils, water, and air while carrying toxins that impact for dozens, if not hundreds of years.
A recent study found that a group of chemicals called phthalates — also known as plasticizers — may be contributing to the early deaths of between 91,000 to 107,000 older adults in the US each year. The study involved over 5,300 adults who participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2001 and 2010. The information was collected via in-person interviews across the country and included the adults providing urine samples that were measured for phthalate metabolites.
According to the study, adults between the ages of 55 and 64 who had the highest concentrations of the chemicals in their urine were more likely to die of any cause, especially heart disease, than adults with lesser exposure. Also, the loss of life could be costing the US between $40 and $47 billion annually.
Phthalates are most commonly used to make plastic harder to break and there are currently three types that have been restricted or banned in toys. They are, however, less restricted in cosmetics and food packaging materials. The study focuses an urgency on putting further limits on the chemicals in food packaging materials and other consumer goods.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef we are always messaging about the dangers of pollution. We have to do better — Not just for the environment and its animals, but for our families as well. More studies need to be done but this one suggests that the toll of these chemicals on our communities is much greater than we thought.
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Have them watch this powerful video …
The director of this video, Amir Zakeri, created a masterclass for anyone in the Karmagawa and SaveTheReef community who would like to tell visual stories about the causes they care about. If you’re interested, here’s 50% off.
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What do you think about the findings of this study and the impact phthalates chemicals may be having on our communities? Leave a comment below.
(Cover image: solarseven/Shutterstock)