Eating ourselves to death: plastic poisoning

FRESNO, Calif.

One million plastic cups are handed out on U.S. airline flights every six hours. Plastic is the number one consumer product, but it could also be killing us.

"When I stepped out of bed, I hit the floor and I, hum, couldn't move," Tonya Montgomery (Had Plastic Poisoning), told Action News.

"I was completely paralyzed," said Montgomery. It was awful and I was in a lot of pain."

Tonya Montgomery was ready to die.

"I just laid there," said Montgomery.

Helpless, alone on the floor for two days, until her child's nanny found her.

"I was really scared," Montgomery stated.

Over the next two months, Tonya was diagnosed with Lupus, Lymphoma, Leukemia, and Scleroderma, but she had none of them. After searching online, she found the answer and a doctor who confirmed it, Tonya was suffering from plastic poisoning!

Professor Tracy Woodruff is an expert on environmental toxins. She says, from the shampoo you use, to the food you eat, dangerous toxins can get into your body.

"People are exposed to BPA constantly," Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director of Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California in San Francisco, told Action News.

Bisphenol-A or BPA is a chemical used in plastics. It prevents rusting and is found in the lining of canned foods, plastic bottles, plastic bags, Styrofoam, and coffee cups. It's in the fish we eat, the soup we sip, and even our baby's bottles.

"They can actually leach out into the product that is containing the can metal," Roy Gerona, Ph.D. Clinical Chemist at the University of California in San Francisco, told Action News.

High levels of it are linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, early puberty, allergies, asthma, insulin resistance, smaller penis', lower sperm count, reproductive problems, thyroid issues, miscarriages, ADHD, autism, and obesity.

"It can alter the hormones in your body," said, Professor Woodruff.

Of the more than 200-government studies, 92 percent show BPA is harmful. About 20 studies funded by chemical corporations found BPA does no harm, but just how much BPA does it take to affect your health? A Harvard study gave one group of volunteers canned soup for lunch, and another group fresh soup, after just five days, the group eating canned soup had more than a one thousand percent increase in BPA.

Film makers Judy Kohin and Suzan Beraza created the documentary 'Bag It,' to help raise awareness of what BPA and phthalates, another chemical found in plastics, are doing to our world and our bodies. To prove their point, they put their friend Jeb to the test. After just two days of eating, drinking, and living like most of us do, Jeb's phthalate level increased eleven times.

"His BPA went up like a hundred and ten times," Suzan Beraza (Film Maker), told Action News.

Experts say, to avoid anything made with plastic number three, six, or seven.

Tonya changed her spa - getting rid of anything and everything plastic!

"Nothing's a toxic to the body," said Montgomery.

She cleaned out her home, and watches everything she eats. No plastic bags, bottles, or cups!

"We don't use the microwave. We don't do anything with preservatives. It took me about ninety days to get completely better," explained Montgomery.

It changed Tonya's life, and it could change yours too.

Last year, French lawmakers banned BPA in all food packaging. Canada banned it in baby food products. The entire Japanese canning industry has gotten rid of BPA resin can liners. And after a lot of pressure, the FDA has recently banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and Sippy cups. However, it stopped short of banning the chemical in metal can liners and other plastics.

For more information, contact:
Tracey Woodruff, Expert on Environmental Chemicals
University of California San Francisco
(510) 350-1240

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