A new study from McGill University in Canada showed that some plastic tea bags release small particles called microplastics when they are steeped into hot water. In fact, after looking at four commercial teabags in 200 degree Fahrenheit water, the researchers found 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics. At this point, we do not know the effect of ingesting these particles, and even the World Health Organization said further research is needed to see the effect on human health. However, some research shows that nanoplastics may trigger inflammation, compromise the immune system, affect the cardiovascular system, respiratory function, and negatively influence the gut.
The use of plastic is a tremendous concern in our society since it takes over 100 years to degrade. In the meantime, it pollutes our environment and our bodies. Many plastics contain BPH, a chemical known to affect our endocrine system. Endocrine receptors may affect or impede hormones in our body and therefore affect how some of our tissues and organs function. For instance, they may adversely affect developmental, reproductive, immune and neural systems, and they may be linked to cancer, diabetes, hormone imbalance, and reduced fertility.
It is very difficult to control everything that we consume or put on or in our bodies, especially since there are so many hidden dangers and pollutants surrounding us. All we can do is make informed choices to help lessen the burden of the environment around us. We need to be our own health advocates and make wise purchases. We spend a lot of money on healthcare, yet some of our everyday choices may be contributing to our issues. For example, not all teabags are made from plastic, so if you are a tea drinker, use the paper tea bags or buy loose-leaf tea and put it in a stainless steel ball infuser. We need to be mindful about what we buy and about what we consume. It’s the only way to help ourselves stay as healthy as possible.
To read more about how what you consume can impact your health including low testosterone and infertility, read our blog on the relationship between water bottles and low T.