Are we eating plastic? The question might sound weird but not after you look at the findings of this research. More than 92% of patients seeking treatment for hair loss at a Bengaluru clinic were found to have plastic (BPA) in their blood.
The research involved collecting blood and urine samples from 1,000 patients (430 females and 570 males) at Hairline International Research & Treatment Center over a year.
Tests of their blood samples showed presence of Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic compound used in the making of certain kinds of plastics. The patients, mainly in the age group of 20-45 years, were working professionals consuming food from plastic vessels at least 4 to 6 times a day.
The findings are worrying as hair loss is just one symptom of major disorders that plastics could trigger.
Besides causing thyroid problems, BPA is essentially a carcinogenic substance and also leads to heart ailments.
Over 70% metabolic disorders begin with hair loss, said Bani Anand, founder and CEO, Hairline International Research and Treatment Centre.
Doctors blame over-dependency on plastic utensils and bad eating habits for the presence of BPA in blood. From children’s tiffin boxes and water bottles to tea cups in offices and heating containers used in microwave ovens, plastic is omnipresent – it has replaced steel, glass and ceramic in the past seven to eight years.
“When a person walks into our clinic with complaints of hair fall, we first analyze hisher lifestyle, diet, medical history and clinical diagnosis. Hair loss is only a symptom of a major disorder. We do 10-12 kinds of blood tests.
One of them is to know Bisphenol A (BPA) level in the blood,” Bani said.
She blamed the sedentary lifestyle, over exposure to cell phones and dependency on plastic, right from milk sachets to food containers and distilled water bottles for the problem.
Priyanka Rohatgi, chief clinical dietitian, Apollo Hospital, said microwave heating is leading to accumulation of plastic in blood. “When you heat your food through microwave, it leads to uneven heating.
You do not know what exactly happens when the container gets heated.Many professionals carry lunch in plastic dabbas that are re-heated in microwave ovens.
Exposure to sunlight can make plastic bottles melt gradually. Water bottles kept in cars also react to heat. Stainless steel utensils are the safest,” she said.
According to Dr Shaheed Shamsheer, a trichologist at Doctor Health Clinic, very few labs conduct BPA test in Bengaluru. “It’s an expensive test. BPA is carcinogenic and also leads to heart ailments and one of the symptoms can be hair fall. But for those who come with complaints of hair fall, usually we do thyroid, hormone and vitamin tests,” he added.