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2024/5/31

PLASTIC POLLUTION & HUMAN HEALTH 

Emmy Winning Documentary (Environmental/Science) We’re All Plastic People Now exposes the plastic/health connection

“Water is life, so if the water is polluted and we have sentinel species like dolphins and sea turtles, if they're also sick, we can anticipate that we'll be sick, too.”

-- David A. Davis, Ph.D., researcher, University of Miami, featured in the film

 

While the film, produced by Rory Fielding briefly illustrates the devastating impacts of microplastics on marine life, particularly sea turtles found with plastic-filled stomachs, it also features several studies on plastics in humans.

Dr. Antonio Ragusa, lead researcher on microplastics in the placenta and one of the featured experts in the documentary, states that:

Many of the chemicals used to make plastic are endocrine disruptors. As microplastics circulate in your body, they carry these chemicals and distribute them to your cells and tissues, where they can pose significant harm to your health.”

Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a pediatrician and director of the Center for Investigation of Environmental Hazards at New York University, noted in the film:

“We live in a world where we're still not as aware of endocrine-disrupting chemicals as we should be. We're talking about our natural hormones, our molecules that orchestrate all sorts of signaling of basic bodily functions, maintaining a healthy temperature, good metabolism, salt, sugar and even sex.

When we're talking about endocrine-disrupting chemicals, we're talking about synthetic chemicals that hack those molecular signals and make things go awry in the human body.”

Some of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) found in microplastics include bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). By mimicking, blocking or interfering with your natural hormones, EDCs can disrupt the function of the endocrine system, which leads to problems in various physiological functions such as growth, metabolism and reproduction.

Another form of EDC found in microplastics is PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances), a group of about 5,000 ubiquitous chemicals in consumer products and used in industrial, electronic, firefighting and medical applications.

In the documentary, Shanna Swan, Ph.D., a professor from Mount Sinai Hospital, sheds light on her research on phthalates, which she believes is one of the major culprits behind the decline in sperm count in the last 50 years. She purports that exposure to these chemicals causes phthalate syndrome, a condition wherein the male reproductive organs and fertility are affected depending on their mother’s exposure to phthalates while they’re in the womb

 

Toward the end of the documentary, the featured experts and environmental activists shared a similar sentiment — there is still hope for reducing plastic pollution and safeguarding the health of future generations.

 

Featured in the Santa Fe Film Festival 2024, the film is now available free of charge.

 

Watch the film here:









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