WORD & NATION

Unraveling the $250 Billion Health Impact: The Hidden Toll of Plastics

Plastic products, known for their durability and versatility, have become an integral part of our daily lives. However, a recent investigation into the health costs associated with certain chemical additives in plastics has raised alarming concerns. These additives, responsible for the unique properties of plastics, have been linked to various health issues, including breast and prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and adverse impacts on children’s brain development and adult fertility.

The Menace of Endocrine Disruptors

EARTHDAY.ORG on LinkedIn: Chemicals in Plastics Added $250 Billion to U.S. Health Care Costs in One…

At the forefront of this health crisis are endocrine disruptors—a class of additives that mimic and interfere with hormone signaling in humans. A comprehensive study conducted by a team of physicians, epidemiologists, and endocrinologists sheds light on the staggering health costs incurred by the U.S. healthcare system due to plastic exposure.

Estimating the Toll

In 2018 alone, the adverse effects of several common endocrine disruptors accounted for nearly $250 billion in healthcare costs. To put this into perspective, this figure is just $40 billion short of the proposed 2024 budget for the entire state of California, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.

"This study is really meant to put a bright, bold line underneath the fact that plastics are a human health issue," emphasizes Dr. Leo Trasande, a pediatrician and public policy expert at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and Wagner School of Public Service. The impacts, he notes, span the entire life span, from the brain development of young children to cancer.

Researchers Behind the Revelations

Plastics and Human Health | Plastics and the Environment Series – Geneva Environment Network

The groundbreaking study involved researchers from New York University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Defend Our Health—an environmental organization based in Portland, Maine. By utilizing epidemiological and toxicity data, the researchers focused on well-studied chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, PBDEs (flame retardants), and PFOAs ("forever chemicals" found in nonstick cookware and tap water).

A Conservative Estimate

Dr. Trasande describes the $250 billion estimate as "conservative," suggesting that there are likely tens of thousands of other chemicals used in plastic production contributing to health issues, although data on them are scarce. Avi Kar, senior attorney and senior director for the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Health and Food, People & Communities Program, echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that even the disclosed costs are likely underestimates.

Beyond Chemicals: The Hidden Health Costs

Does Plastic Make Us Sick? - Zero Waste Europe

Apart from the direct health costs associated with these chemicals, Avi Kar notes that there are additional health tolls related to macro and micro plastics, as well as the pollution stemming from their production and disposal.

In conclusion, the $250 billion health toll of plastics serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address the impact of chemical additives in plastic production on public health. The study’s revelations underscore the importance of comprehensive research, regulatory measures, and sustainable practices to safeguard the well-being of present and future generations.

Chemicals in Plastics Add $250 Billion a Year to US Health Costs, Study Finds

In a groundbreaking study published by the Endocrine Society, it has been revealed that four endocrine-disrupting chemicals, prevalent in plastic production, contribute to an annual health cost surge of approximately $250 billion in the United States. These chemicals are linked to the increased prevalence of diseases such as cancer and diabetes, leading to a substantial rise in medical expenses. The findings underscore the urgent need for awareness and regulatory measures to address the profound impact of plastic-related health issues, demanding attention to both environmental and economic aspects of the escalating health costs.

Are Plastics Affecting Our Health?

The Journal of the Endocrine Society recently published findings indicating that in 2018, the hormone-disrupting effects of plastics in the nation’s food and water resulted in an astonishing quarter of a trillion dollars in additional healthcare costs. The study underscores the profound impact of plastics on human health, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and regulatory actions. This significant financial burden highlights the intricate relationship between plastics, human health, and the escalating costs associated with addressing health issues linked to plastic exposure.

Are Plastics Affecting Our Health?

The Journal of the Endocrine Society recently published findings indicating that in 2018, the hormone-disrupting effects of plastics in the nation’s food and water resulted in an astonishing quarter of a trillion dollars in additional healthcare costs. The study underscores the profound impact of plastics on human health, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and regulatory actions. This significant financial burden highlights the intricate relationship between plastics, human health, and the escalating costs associated with addressing health issues linked to plastic exposure.

Are Plastics Affecting Our Health?

The Journal of the Endocrine Society recently published findings indicating that in 2018, the hormone-disrupting effects of plastics in the nation’s food and water resulted in an astonishing quarter of a trillion dollars in additional healthcare costs. The study underscores the profound impact of plastics on human health, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and regulatory actions. This significant financial burden highlights the intricate relationship between plastics, human health, and the escalating costs associated with addressing health issues linked to plastic exposure.

Are Plastics Affecting Our Health?

The Journal of the Endocrine Society recently published findings indicating that in 2018, the hormone-disrupting effects of plastics in the nation’s food and water resulted in an astonishing quarter of a trillion dollars in additional healthcare costs. The study underscores the profound impact of plastics on human health, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and regulatory actions. This significant financial burden highlights the intricate relationship between plastics, human health, and the escalating costs associated with addressing health issues linked to plastic exposure.

Are Plastics Affecting Our Health?

The Journal of the Endocrine Society recently published findings indicating that in 2018, the hormone-disrupting effects of plastics in the nation’s food and water resulted in an astonishing quarter of a trillion dollars in additional healthcare costs. The study underscores the profound impact of plastics on human health, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and regulatory actions. This significant financial burden highlights the intricate relationship between plastics, human health, and the escalating costs associated with addressing health issues linked to plastic exposure.

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