No plastics

I am trying to get rid of all plastic items to make my home a healthier place. It is rather easy to replace plastics with steel, glass, ceramics, wood and other plant-based products. If you like to do so too, I recommend you to take the home textiles as a priority. Because, you probably spend more time in your bed than in any other place. I have changed my memory foam to a cotton futon and my polyester blanket to a cotton blanket (Ikea Jofrid, 150×200, 35 eur). Everything is 100% cotton, except the pillow, which went from polyester to buckwheat (Futon-1 Tattarityyny, 50×60, 30 eur).

Why to avoid plastics? You breath the small plastic particles broken apart from the synthetic fabrics: polyester, acrylic, Nylon, Lycra (polyurethane) and so on. You cook and eat in an environment where these particles form a sparse dust that travels into your food. It has been shown that these microplastic particles negatively affect your body [1]. And I guess, these microplastics are not good for animals and plants either. I am not saying they could not be advantageous for some, because nature tends to find a way eventually. But for the majority, including human, the new chemical composition of the environment becomes distracting or even poisonous, and next to impossible to avoid.

Additives put into plastics are also a major health concern. Phthalates are substances added primarily to PVC to make it more softer and durable. Evidently they have spread to our environment in concentrations high enough to affect our endocrine system meaning that they potentially mess up our hormone levels thus increasing the risk for cancer. Although phthalates quickly break down and exit our body upon exposure, their constant presence in our environment keeps the intake levels high. A wide meta study about the issues with phthalates and other plastic additives has been conducted by Meeker et al. [2].

Sources

[1] Blair Crawford, Christopher; Quinn, Brian (2016). Microplastic Pollutants. Elsevier Science. ISBN9780128094068.

[2] Meeker, J. D., Sathyanarayana, S., & Swan, S. H. (2009). Phthalates and other additives in plastics: human exposure and associated health outcomesPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences364(1526), 2097–2113. http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2008.0268