Can plastic straws directly harm your body? Know details here

Plastic pollution is an enormous problem, so regardless of the specific statistics, the war on plastic straws is working double-time as an effective public awareness campaign. Plastic straws are also completely unnecessary for most of the people. They are a frivolous contraption and can be a great introduction to breaking up with single-use plastic. But to anyone who is feeling annoyed that they may soon be deprived of the luxury of a plastic straw they may want to consider that straws aren’t just bad for the environment, but may be bad for people as well. What’s bad for the environment is also generally bad for human health, but the effects here are more direct. Here we will go over some points about how plastic straws are bad for the body.

Direct effects of plastic straws on human health:

Gas and bloating: Sipping liquid through straws can deliver air into the digestive tract. This in turn causes uncomfortable symptoms like gas and bloating. Ingestion of excessive gas is known as aerophagia.

Dental problems: You might think that drinking with straws will prevent you from teeth related problems, but this is not true. In fact, drinking from a straw can increase the chances of developing cavities. The sugar from your fizzy drink directly hits a specific area of the teeth, which can lead to erosion of enamel and cause tooth decay. That said, if you put the straw behind your teeth, it can spare them.

Harmful chemicals: Single-use plastic straws are primarily made of polypropylene, which FDA says is food-safe in certain amounts. The chemicals of the straw can leach into the water. It contains numerous chemicals that can be harmful to your health. Additionally, we know that the production of plastic is not good for the environment. There is evidence that chemicals from polypropylene can leach into liquids and may release compounds that could affect estrogen levels especially when exposed to heat, acidic beverages or UV light.

Excessive sugar and alcohol consumption: It’s been argued that sipping liquids such as soft drinks through a straw could contribute to excess sugar intake. The thought is that straws cause you to gulp down a greater volume of liquid more quickly than drinking from a glass or cup. The idea that drinking alcohol through a straw leads to faster intoxication is another theory that’s been repeated often. Yet much like the excess-sugar theory, it’s popular but unproven.

Wrinkles: For people concerned about wrinkles, using straws regularly can lead to “pucker lines,” like the ones smokers get from pulling on a cigarette. Using a straw on a regular basis means your muscles are going through the repetitive motion of pursing the lips. Repeating this movement breaks down the collagen near your mouth, causing permanent skin creases.

Companies now make recyclable paper straws to help reduce plastic waste. You can also buy reusable straws made of metal, glass, silicone, or bamboo.

If you have a motor or swallowing disorder, straws can help you safely drink beverages. Otherwise, if you only use straws for convenience, it may be healthier to ditch them. Drinking through a straw can contribute to lip wrinkles, bloating, cavities, and teeth staining.

If you must drink through a straw, consider using a reusable straw to reduce plastic waste. The production and disposal of plastic straws contribute to environmental pollution.

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