Life in plastic
As if pregnant women needed anything else to feel guilty about.
The latest news on the harm that plastics can cause children is in today's piece on fetal exposure to plastics in utero. It suggests that boys exposed to the plastics known as phthalates during pregnancy will display fewer masculine behaviours during play.
This was a relatively small study, and I'm not sure what great tragedy it is that these boys engaged in slightly less gun play than others. But it does add to the growing body of evidence that plastics exposure is just not good for us at all.
Other recent stories on plastics include this one on how exposure to bisphenol A during pregnancy can lead to more aggressive behaviour in girls. These are from a different family of plastics, but how confusing is that? Less masculine behaviour in boys and more masculine behaviour in girls? (That's assuming we equate aggressive with maleness, which is not necessarily fair.)
And we've also had:
Plastics have been on my mind recently, particularly because I'm in the middle of a big purge of toys and baby equipment. As my friend and I were hauling large plastic toys and baby equipment to her van the other day, I couldn't help wish I'd known as a first-time mom what I know today. That a lot of this would seem very wasteful and unessential with a few years parenting experience under one's belt. That a firm conversation with grandparents is in order to minimize those super-size, stage-specific toys that won't endure. And most importantly, that hundreds of micro-exposures to plastics could have negative health repercussions that we're just beginning to understand.
But to those expectant moms now looking askance at their shower curtains and linoleum floors, please don't freak out, berate yourself and call a contractor on the same day. You've got enough to endure without the comforts of sushi and shiraz.
That said, I think I'm going to get serious about replacing my Tupperware with glass containers. Not because of this article, but because the overall picture does not look good and hasn't for some time.
This Christmas, I'm also discouraging new plastic toys that aren't a part of my sons' current obsession with Lego. I'm quite certain that my grandchildren will play with the Lego.
I can't say the same of the made-in-China plastic doctor's office (complete with defibrillator paddles and pretend IV pole), cute but long forgotten.