There is a man-made chemical which is deeply entrenched in many of our modern manufacturing technologies, In particular it has become ubiquitous in the production of epoxy resins and carbonate plastics, and can also be found in the linings of many metal food containers, and the coatings of DVD’s and CDs– and goes under the name of Bishphenol A (BPA),
BPA has been hailed as one of the most versatile and cost effective substances used in manufacturing today; having been in use for over 40 years. In 2002, approximately 2.8 million tons of Bisphenol A (BPA) was produced globally (Source: Chemical Market Associates, Inc. (CMAI)).
However in recent years, there have been grave concerns relating to the way BPA can disrupt hormone levels and hormonal balance, by acting as a synthetic Estrogen. Recently the FDA released the results of Two Studies, pertaining to the safety of BPA, and concluded that current safety regulations were adequate– however, there would be continued research in this area. The problem with this though is that these tests were carried out on rodents not humans.
There has been over 90 studies on BPA involving humans, 50 of these have having been published in the last two years. The results of a large study which reviewed the effects of BPA on humans was published in 2013– where the authors concluded that there is increasing evidence to support the theory that environmental exposure to BPA, can have an adverse effect on human health.
Here are just some of the dangerous side effects of BPA which have been exposed from the numerous studies.
- Increased risk of contracting Breast Cancer.
- Early onset puberty.
- Increased risk of heart disease.
- Infertility in both males and females
- May impair development of the central nervous system
- Increases risk of obesity.
A new study which links BPA to behavioral problems in young children and teenagers was recently reported on Canadian TV News(CTV) by medical specialist Avis Favaro. The report concludes that Canadian kids and teens with high levels of Bisphenol A, or BPA, in their urine, are more likely to have behavioral problems. **346**
It was found that boys with higher concentrations of BPA in their urine were more prone to behavioral problems, while higher levels of BPA in girls was linked to an increase in Hyperactivity. However, the researchers cautioned that the link they found between BPA and behavioral problems was relatively weak– nevertheless, they hastened to add that even a minor effect could have significant public health indications, and this warranted further research.
Ways to Avoid Exposure to BPA
1. Refuse that Receipt. The majority of receipts generated at the checkout today are ink free receipts which are coated with BPA. This free form of the chemical is readily transferred to the body in greater quantities than other methods and you should therefore avoid handling them by declining to accept them. Alternatively you could check with the store to see whether or not they use ink free printing, there are still some places that use ink , and these type of receipts will be BPA free.
2 Eliminate canned food in our diet as far as possible. Most food cans are lined with a substance that contains BPA, which can seep into the food. While it may not be practical to totally eradicate this type of food from your diet it would be prudent to cut down substantially.
Foods which are highly acidic such as canned tomatoes tend to absorb more BPA than other foods. Buy fresh or frozen foods over the canned variety– they usually have more nutrition and fewer additives than the canned variety, and as a bonus they taste better too.
3 Check the recycle code on plastic bottles Plastic bottles bearing the recycle code of 7 usually contain BPA, you can usually find the code on the base of the bottle, if there is no recycle code there, then leave well alone. Glass bottles or stainless steel containers are the best choices for drinks.
4 Avoid microwaving poly-carbonate plastic food containers. If you must buy microwavable food, then at least transfer it to another receptacle such as a porcelain plate or dish before microwaving– since the poly-carbonate plastic used to package many microwave meals can break down at high temperatures and leach out BPA.
5 Eat more organic food. BPA is also contained in fertilizers and many food additives, therefore by eating more organic food, you will further reduce the risk of BPA exposure.
6.Use powdered infant formula instead of premixed liquid. A study by the Working Environment Group found that premixed formulas contain more BPA than the powdered versions. Ideally, it would be better to breast feed your infant.
7, Use BPA Free Bottles. Most manufacturers make baby bottles that are BPA free, but you should check firs. If a baby bottle has a recycle code of either 3 or 7, then you should avoid these products.– check with the retailer to make sure
You may not be able to completely eliminate BPA exposure, however, by taking the recommended steps above you can significantly reduce the risk to your health. There are other ways you can contribute to helping bring about a safer BPA free environment by joining one of the many BPA free campaigns which you will easily find online.