Our 'Toxic' Love-Hate Relationship With Plastics
We all know that plastics are common in modern life, but science journalist Susan Freinkel says they are really literally everywhere — in our toothbrushes, hair dryers, cell phones, computers, door knobs, car parts — and of course in those ubiquitous plastic bags we get it seems every time we buy anything.
The bags are made from polyethylene, the most common type of plastic in use today. By one estimate, Freinkel says, the amount of polyethylene produced in America every year is nearly equal to the combined mass of every man, woman and child in the country.
Freinkel's new book, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story
chronicles the rise of plastic in consumer culture, and its effects on the environment and our health. She notes that plastics have had enormously beneficial impacts — like making blood transfusions safe and common. But scientists are now also finding that phthalate chemicals from IV bags and other plastics are leaching into the fluids we take into our bodies, and the effects of that are just now being understood. Listen to the story on Fresh Air, and be sure to check out all the added links and excerpts, too. I enjoyed listing to this show, and I found it very intersting.