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Gum: A Good Old Xenoestrogen Plastic Chew!

February 05, 2018
There's only one thing worse than finding chewing gum on the bottom of your shoe... finding out what's in it. The material responsible for giving gum elasticity, bubble blowing capabilities and a chew that lasts for hours is made from a substance which Health Canada considered banning back in 2008 (a similar assessment lead to the ban of BPA in baby bottles). So what is gum made from? 
 
Quick Science Lesson
 
Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) or gum base is made from a form of vinyl, the same stuff your shower curtain and glue are manufactured out of. Vinyl acetate, has many uses ranging from paint and varnish to hair styling products. Vinyl acetate is linked to chromosome damage in human lymphocytes and hamster ovary cells and according to the Canadian Government has potential to cause harm to human health.  
 
Chew on That
 
Despite these scary facts, the rubbery nature of PVA make it an ideal base for gum. Take a moment and think about what makes for a 'good chew' as far as gum is concerned. Is it not the soft, chewy texture and long lasting flavor?
 
Did you know that many brands of gum also use phthalates, (a chemical with estrogen activity) to create a soft non-stick gum and to enhance its flavor profile. Studies have linked phthalates to obesity and diabetes. Is the chew worth the possible side effects? You decide. 
 
But I Haven't Seen PVA on My Gum Pack Ingredients!
 
Your right, you won’t see PVA or phthalates on the ingredient label of your favorite gum. What you will see though is 'gum base' which can contains a number of synthetic chemicals like petroleum wax, polyvinyl acetate, phthalates and other questionable ingredients.
 
PVA can also be found in cosmetics and personal care products as it is a great binder, stabilizer and fixative. A little bit of vinyl acetate in your gum, hair spray, or hair conditioner can't hurt right?!
 
If that isn't bad enough, many sugar-free gums contain the artificial sweetener aspartame. Although not a known xenoestrogen, artificial sweeteners have their own laundry list of potential detrimental health impacts. There are other negative effects that can result from chewing gum laced with aspartame, but hormone disruption should be enough to inspire you to kick the chewing habit!
 
But I Want Fresh Breath
 
To keep your breath fresh, why not brush your teeth with Zero Xeno Kombucha Tooth Soap, and consume chlorophyll rich green veggies to help absorb odors associated with bad breath. Chlorophyll also helps support the detoxification systems of your body and nourish you at the same time, so a win win there. 
 
Giving up gum is in my opinion a better choice than continuing with the chemical laced chew. While it may be a hard habit to break, I believe the benefits far outweigh the potential risks.
 
Join The Zero Xeno Movement today!
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by Bonnie Penner
 

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