Harmful effects of plastic | Sunday Observer

Harmful effects of plastic

4 July, 2021

Over the past few decades, humans have dumped tons of plastic garbage into the ocean.

Around 580,000 pieces of plastic junk per square kilometer were found in the Atlantic Ocean. If this process continues for years to come, the consequences will severely deteriorate the food chain.

The plastic accumulated in the water bodies affect the living creatures and harm them. It also causes indirect harm to the health of seafood eaters and impacts the overall environment. Let’s understand how plastic affects our body and health.

Side effects of plastic on health

The chemicals used in the production of plastic are toxic and detrimental to the human body. Chemicals in plastic-like lead, cadmium and mercury directly can come in contact with humans.

These toxins can cause cancers, congenital disabilities, immune system problems and childhood development issues.

The other toxins like BPA or health-bisphenol-A are found in plastic bottles and food packaging materials.

When the polymer chains of BPA break down and enter the human body through contaminated water or fish, it could lead to some fatal damage to our body. BPA can decrease thyroid hormone receptor which can lead to hypothyroidism.

Apart from these severe effects, humans can also develop some health conditions because of plastic.

Here are some adverse health effects caused by plastic:

· Asthma

· Pulmonary cancer due to inhalation of poisonous gases

· Liver damage

· Nerve and brain damage

· Kidney diseases

How to reduce the use of plastic

It is very essential that we get rid of these problems, and save the Earth and its inhabitants from the effects of plastic use. Here’s how we can avoid the use of plastic:

1. Carry our own water and stop buying packaged water: Plastic bottles contribute the most to plastic junk, as high as 20 million bottles dumped into the trash.

2. Always carry your own shopping bag: Though it seems a small thing if followed regularly, you can stop the use of plastic in the form of bags.

3. Choose cardboard over plastic bags: Cardboard is biodegradable, hence environment-friendly. Make intelligent choices!

4. Use non-plastic straws.

5. Shop in bulk: This is one of the best ways to reduce packaging waste. This will reduce plastic waste from your house too.

6. Store your food in glass or steel containers: Opt for reusable containers rather than plastic zipper bags.

These simple tips are very useful in reducing and eliminating plastic from our lives in the long term. Prevention of plastic use is the need of the hour.

It is not only needed by the existing generations but also for future generations. Meanwhile, keep a check on the diseases caused by plastic with regular full body health checkups.