Polyester, Micro Plastics, and your Health
Sacred Geometrix exclusively uses 100% organic fabric for all of our products.
For the Earth: We intentionally create our clothing with Organic cotton to add to the health of the natural ecology used in our supply chain. We do this by avoiding toxic pesticides in the agricultural process.
For your Health: By avoiding plastic materials to touch your skin, you are avoiding health risks that have shown to disrupt and negatively effect human biology.
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Through ingestion of food containing microplastics like Phthalates and Bisphenol A, inhalation of microplastics in the air and by dermal contact of these particles, contained in products, textiles or in the dust we are constantly inundated with these contaminates.
Continue reading to learn about these chemicals and how they effect your health and how you can choose to minimize them in your daily life.
How Polyester is made:
Polyester is a synthetic polymer made from petroleum-derived chemicals. The most common method for producing polyester involves a reaction between dicarboxylic acids and diols (also known as glycols). Here is a simplified overview of the process:
- Dicarboxylic acids, such as terephthalic acid, are combined with diols, like ethylene glycol. This reaction forms a chemical intermediate known as a prepolymer.
- The prepolymer undergoes a polymerization process to create long chains of repeating units. This process is typically carried out at high temperatures in the presence of catalysts.
- The polymer chains are then cooled and solidified into a material known as polyester resin. This resin can be further processed into various forms, such as fibers or sheets.
Spinning (for Polyester Fibers):
- In the case of polyester fibers, the polyester resin is melted and extruded through spinnerets, forming long strands. These strands are then cooled and solidified to create polyester fibers.
Textile Processing (for Fabrics):
- The polyester fibers can be further processed to create fabrics through methods like weaving or knitting.
As you can tell, theres nothing in this process that is good, in fact every stage involves nasty chemicals, that only add to the rising health concern of the end product, polyester.
Toxic chemicals used in the production the most common type of polyester, known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET):
- Terephthalic acid is a dicarboxylic acid and a crucial component in the production of PET polyester. It contributes to the formation of the polymer chains during the polymerization process.
- Ethylene glycol is a diol (glycol) that reacts with terephthalic acid to form a chemical intermediate known as a prepolymer. This prepolymer is then polymerized to create the polyester polymer.
Dimethyl Terephthalate :
- In some polyester manufacturing processes, dimethyl terephthalate can be used instead of terephthalic acid. Dimethyl terephthalate is esterified with ethylene glycol to produce the prepolymer.
- Catalysts are substances that speed up or facilitate chemical reactions. In the polymerization process, catalysts are often used to promote the bonding of the dicarboxylic acids and diols, leading to the formation of polymer chains.
- Stabilizers may be added to the polyester resin to prevent degradation during processing and to enhance the material's stability over time. Stabilizers help maintain the desired properties of the polyester.
Colorants and Additives:
- Depending on the intended use of the polyester, various colorants and additives may be incorporated. For example, pigments or dyes can be added to achieve different colors. Other additives may enhance properties such as UV resistance, flame retardancy, or antistatic properties.
You can avoid all of these chemicals by choosing to not wear polyester. Your skin is the largest organ on the body. Especially during sweating and while your skin pores are open, avoiding polyester and other synthetic fibers on your body will help you feel the healthiest.
Effects of Micro Plastics on Human Health:
- Endocrine disruptors can interfere with the normal functioning of hormones in the body. Microplastics may contain additives and chemicals used in their production that have the potential to mimic or interfere with hormonal signals.
- There is concern that exposure to endocrine-disrupting microplastics could impact reproductive health. Studies on animals have suggested that exposure to certain endocrine disruptors may affect fertility, development of the reproductive organs, and overall reproductive function.
- Exposure to endocrine disruptors during critical developmental stages, such as fetal development, infancy, and childhood, may have lasting effects on the endocrine system and overall health.
- Some research suggests that exposure to endocrine disruptors, including microplastics, may be linked to metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. These effects could be related to disruptions in hormonal regulation.
Immune System Effects:
- There is ongoing research into the potential impact of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including micro plastics, on the immune system. Changes in immune function could have broader implications for overall health.
This Is truly a new epidemic effecting our health! Please know you can avoid many of these horrible negative effects on your health by choosing to wear organic clothing, and limiting the amount of micro plastics in your local environment, the food you eat and your home.
Practical Guide to Reducing Microplastics in Your Life:
Stop Buying Plastic Based and Single-Use Plastics:
- Opt for reusable alternatives to single-use plastics. Use a reusable water bottle, bring your own shopping bags, and choose products with minimal or no plastic packaging.
Avoid Microbeads in Personal Care Products:
- Check the ingredient list of personal care products ensure they do not contain microbeads. Microbeads are tiny plastic particles used in some products that adversely effect your health. Some common products with Microbeads: Exfoliating Scrubs, Toothpaste, Bodywash/showergels, Face cleansers, Hand Soaps, Makeup, Hair Care products. Please view our page Microbeads, the Microplastic chemicals destroying your heath (and the various names they are listed under in common product ingredients).
Choose Natural Fibers:
- When selecting clothing and textiles, choose natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or silk. These fibers do not shed microplastics during washing as synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon might.
Wash Clothing Less Frequently:
- Reduce the frequency of washing your clothing, especially synthetic fabrics, to minimize the release of microfibers. When you do wash clothes, consider using a front-loading washing machine, as it tends to release fewer fibers than top-loading machines.
Support Sustainable Brands:
- Choose products from brands that prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Look for companies that use recycled materials, practice responsible sourcing, and are committed to reducing their environmental impact.
Participate in Cleanup Efforts:
- Get involved in local beach or river cleanup initiatives. Participate in organized cleanups to help remove plastic debris, including microplastics, from the environment.
Properly Dispose of Waste:
- Dispose of plastic waste properly by recycling it according to local guidelines. Avoid littering, as plastics that end up in the environment can break down into microplastics over time.
Educate Yourself and Others:
- Stay informed about the sources and impacts of microplastics. Share information and trustworthy brands with friends, family, and your community to raise awareness and encourage collective efforts to reduce plastic and micro plastic pollution.
Support Legislation and Policies:
- Advocate for and support policies that aim to reduce plastic pollution. This may include measures to limit single-use plastics, improve waste management, and promote recycling.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is used to harden plastic and is a known endocrine disruptor that has been linked to developmental effects in children and problems with reproductive systems and metabolism in adults (SN: 7/18/09, p. 5).
Phthalates, used to make plastic soft and flexible, are associated with adverse effects on fetal development and reproductive problems in adults along with insulin resistance and obesity. And flame retardants that make electronics less flammable are associated with endocrine, reproductive and behavioral effects.