Here’s what you can do to protect yourself.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’re probably already aware that plastic is a scourge on the planet. It clogs up our landfills for hundreds of years and ends up in the ocean, where sea animals mistake it for food. But if you needed another reason to rethink how much plastic you’re bringing into your life, a new report from Norwegian scientists finds that many of the plastic products we use every day are full of harmful toxins. The researchers studied plastics in commonly used products, from yogurt cups to bath sponges, and found that three quarters of them contained toxic chemicals.
“The problem is that plastics are made of a complex chemical cocktail, so we often don’t know exactly what substances are in the products we use,” Martin Wagner, a biologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and a co-author of the report published in Environmental Science and Technology, said in a statement. “For most of the thousands of chemicals, we have no way to tell whether they are safe or not. And manufacturers may or may not know the ingredients of their products, but even if they know, they are not required to disclose this information.”