What Does Plastic Do to the Endocrine System?

The translucent exterior of a plastic soda bottle hides a secret in plain sight: hundreds of synthetic chemicals embedded in its seemingly innocuous material. These chemicals give the plastic its structure, flexibility and durability, among other qualities—the same traits that also make plastic last for centuries, causing it to accumulate and endure in nature.

Before this plastic enters the natural ecosystem, the chemicals inside can leach out of water bottles and other food containers, entering the body and potentially endangering human health, according to a mounting body of research. In particular, plastic contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that could wreak havoc on certain messaging systems in the human body.

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