Health related posts. Sustainable living of course includes our environment, but just as important is eating and keeping healthy. For many reasons, our modern way of life has made us unhealthy.

Toxic Chemicals Lurking in Paper Straws (PFOA)

Yes, plastic straws are not good, I mean everyone can understand that single use plastics are just terrible for the planet. Think of this, every straw you have ever used still exists – unless you threw some of them in a fire and melted/burned them. It can take at least 200 years for a straw to “break down”. I put “break down” in quotes because they do not biodegrade. When plastic “breaks down” it just break down into smaller bits of plastic, turning into micro-plastic….ie it will never technically decompose.

The numbers are staggering — We are producing over 380 million tons of plastic every year, and some reports indicate that up to 50% of that is for single-use purposes – utilized for just a few moments, but on the planet for at least several hundred years. And of course a good chunk of the single use plastic humans use ends up in our waterways and oceans (estimated to be 10 million tons – greater than a full garbage truck full every minute of every day!) which reaping havoc.

Right. Plastic straws are bad. There is no doubt.

So with that in mind paper straws seem like the logical choice.

Unfortunately this is not the case.

Why you ask, well it is all due to a terrible forever chemical called PFAS. Learn more on PFAS here. Remember the movie Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts, she was fighting for residents who were exposed to PFAS in their drinking water. The fight isn’t over, a recent study found that a good chuck of drinking water sources in the USA are contaminated with PFOA/PFOS.

A new study, recently published in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants, found evidence of “forever chemical” PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in the majority of both paper and bamboo straws tested.

I have stopped using them and you should too.

Try stainless steel straws for use at home – cheap and will last you a lifetime.

Photos of plastic pollution:

Forever Chemicals – PFAS / PFOA

These are bad chemicals and we need to try and avoid them, as much as possible.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of (over 4000) synthetic chemicals that have gained notoriety for their adverse effects on human health and the environment. Here’s why PFAS are so damaging:

  1. Health Risks: PFAS exposure is linked to a range of health problems, including cancer (especially kidney and testicular cancer), liver damage, immune system suppression, thyroid disorders, and developmental issues in children.
  2. Persistence: PFAS do not break down easily in the environment, leading to their accumulation in soil, water, and even in the bodies of living organisms, including humans. This persistence means long-term exposure, making the health risks more significant.
  3. Widespread Contamination: PFAS contamination is widespread, with numerous documented cases of polluted drinking water supplies and environmental contamination near industrial sites and military bases where PFAS were used in firefighting foam and other applications.
  4. Bioaccumulation: PFAS can bioaccumulate in the food chain, leading to higher concentrations in animals that humans consume, further increasing the risk of exposure.
  5. Lack of Regulation: Until recent years, there has been limited regulation of PFAS, allowing their widespread use and contamination without adequate oversight.

How are we being exposed?

  1. Waterproof Apparel: Outdoor clothing, raincoats, and footwear often use PFAS-based coatings to provide water and stain resistance.
  2. Non-Stick Cookware: Teflon-coated pans and bakeware contain PFAS to prevent food from sticking to the surface.
  3. Food Packaging: Microwave popcorn bags, fast-food wrappers, pizza boxes and now paper straws almost always contain PFAS to resist grease and moisture.
  4. Dental Floss: Certain types of dental floss have been found to contain PFAS coatings for smoother gliding.
  5. Cosmetics: Some cosmetics, particularly waterproof makeup, may contain PFAS for long-lasting wear.
  6. Stain-Resistant Fabrics: Carpets, upholstery, and textiles are treated with PFAS to repel stains and spills.
  7. Cleaning Products: Some household cleaning products, such as stain removers and carpet cleaners, may contain PFAS for their stain-resistant properties.
John does a good job explaining things…

What is the single best thing we can do for our health? (Video)

What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

Well, the answer really is very (very) simple and easy to do. A Doctor-Professor answers the old question “What is the single best thing we can do for our health” in a completely new way. Dr. Mike Evans is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor […]

Our Modern Food (Health) Crisis – Jamie Oliver TED (Video)

Even milk can't escape sugar infusion.

An very inspiring (TED-Talks award winning) speech on the state of our health with relation to how and what we eat. Jamie Oliver wants people to educate kids about what they eat, and give them the knowledge of what exactly they are eating and what is in their school lunches. As he says so brilliantly […]

Exposed: What’s Lurking in Febreze?

Dangers of air fresheners

I have written about the hidden dangers of air ‘fresheners’ before; and basically they are loaded with chemical hormone disruptor’s that are terrible for you and your family. Febreze is no different, although they try to market themselves that way. Original article can be found at by Michelle Schoffro Cook. Forget what the TV commercials tell […]

What’s On My Food? – Pesticides, pesticides and well, more pesticides

Pesticides are poisoning us all

What’s On My Food? is a searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable. How does this tool work? We link pesticide food residue data with the toxicology for each chemical, making this information easily searchable for the first time. Use the tool, share it with others: we […]

The Problem with Anti-Bacterial Soaps

Resistent bacteria is evolving

Read full article here: WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH ANTI-BACTERIAL SOAP? on Ecosalon … America has declared war, and it’s not against high-waisted jeans. (Though on that subject, consider me General Patton.) Germs are the new enemy and we’re engaged in hand-to-hand combat with them. Recall the sight of Britney Spears traipsing across gas station bathrooms barefoot, which horrified people […]