You Can Reduce BPA Exposure

Bisphenol a—commonly known as <"">BPA—was developed in the 1930s as an estrogenic mimicker and is used in the industrial manufacture of plastics. Countless established and emerging reports continue to confirm that the ubiquitous chemical appears to cause significant disruption to the body’s endocrine system and has been linked to cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, and brain cell connection interference.

BPA has also been connected to increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; links with serious health problems; and erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in males. In urine tests, BPA is found in the overwhelming majority of Americans, more than 93 percent and, significantly, the chemical is found in 90 percent of all newborns.

Studies have overwhelmingly found BPA to have negative effects at doses lower than current Food & Drug Administration (FDA) standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of the containers’ temperature; and longer lasting damage, which some feel can be passed to future generations.

Recently, the FDA reversed its position that BPA was safe for all saying it has “some concern” about BPA’s effects on the brain; behavior; and prostates of fetuses, infants, and young children, said the Journal Sentinel previously. Regardless, on the heels of a meeting between chemical industry lobbyists and officials with the Obama administration, federal regulators are doing what seems to be a bit of a back track in the inclusion of BPA in its regulation of dangerous chemicals, said the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

Now, as states; counties; and other entities, including some manufacturers, Canada, and the European Union, are taking matters into their own hands by banning the estrogenic chemical in a variety of uses and for certain demographics, the Washington Post released a list of ways in which consumers can reduce their BPA exposure.

Because it is widely known that powdered and liquid infant formula is delivered in cans lined with a BPA-containing epoxy, the Post suggests utilizing powdered versions, since BPA leaching occurs in the liquid versions.
Citing tests conducted by Consumers Union and the Environmental Working Group in which high BPA levels were found in a variety of canned food products, the Post suggests using frozen fruits and vegetables and purchasing soups and drinks in glass containers or soups, broths, and tomatoes in so-called cardboard “brick packaging.”

As we’ve mentioned, BPA can be found in polycarbonate plastic food containers marked “PC” or with recycling number “7.” The Posts suggests avoiding these items and to use plastics with the recycling label numbers 1, 2, and 4, which are BPA-free.

Because some water bottles are lined with a coating that contains BPA, the Post suggests using unlined steel bottles or bottles marked BPA-free and to discard old or scratched plastic bottles. And, since it is largely known that heating foods in containers made with BPA allows for leaching of the chemical into the food being heated. The Post suggests using glass or ceramic containers to microwave or heat foods or liquids.

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