This 2nd Week of October 2021 Thoughts
JPMorgan Chief: Bitcoin Is ‘Worthless,’ Cigarettes Bad for You, Too
Plastic pollution is reaching crisis proportions for oceans, wildlife, and public health, and much of it is single-use plastic packaging. It is disappointing to see companies we love and respect…like Walgreens, Amazon, Costco, and Whole Foods…at the bottom of the barrel, but really…are you surprised? Who isn’t annoyed at how hard it is to cut into packages from Amazon, pry into battery packs and or fight to open the clam-shells that hold your tabouli?
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I’m focusing this Thoughts Back Page on plastics because single-use-plastic pollution has created the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, estimated to be the size of Texas, and it keeps getting bigger. I love As You Sow’s 2021 CORPORATE PLASTIC POLLUTION SCORECARD because it is easy to see which companies that fill your shopping cart every day are still bad actors. Single-use plastic is not just an eyesore: the first report on human exposure to environmental chemicals, produced by the CDC, has shown surprisingly high levels of phthalates (plasticizing compounds found in cosmetics and household products) in our blood and urine. Pthalates are known to cause hormonal disruptions and fetal malformations in animals and the study set out to determine baseline levels of environmental exposure and to assess if we are making any progress to reduce exposure.
😲 Why does this matter to you? The study is the first nationwide effort to measure the environmental toxins in the blood and urine of humans and covers 27 environmental chemicals, including 24 that had never been tested for before. Previously, the CDC has assessed exposures to lead, cadmium and cotinine, a nicotine metabolite.
The newly monitored chemicals include heavy metals such as mercury, beryllium, caesium, uranium, and barium; organophosphates, found in pesticides; and pthalates, found in products such as shampoos, nail polish, and soaps.
Safe levels in humans had not been directly measured before, so safe / toxic levels of these chemicals have not yet been established. This matters to all of us: it is estimated we eat thousands of bits of plastic every year!