BPA Healths Effects and BPA Free Alternatives
Chances are you’re exposed to BPA, or bisphenol-A, every day whether you like it or not. Do you use plastic storage containers, drink out of soda cans, or eat canned foods? If so, you may be getting an unhealthy dose of this industrial chemical commonly used in the manufacture of plastic products. BPA has received a great deal of attention and scrutiny recently due to its potential adverse health effects.
What Are the Health Effects of Bisphenol-A?
Studies have shown that BPA can have a variety of disturbing effects on health. In animals it causes abnormalities in brain development, alters sexual development, and permanently damages DNA. It also acts as a xenoestrogen in the body meaning it mimics the effects of estrogen and may increase the risk of estrogen-associated cancer such as breast cancer. Researchers also believe it can contribute to the development of other chronic diseases such as heart disease and obesity. Disturbingly, these effects in animals are seen at relatively low levels of exposure.
Maybe It’s Time to Go BPA-Free
Because of the health effects of BPA, more people are switching to BPA-free alternatives instead of exposing themselves to the BPA found in many plastic containers, drink bottles, and baby bottles. What’s the best way to make your home and life as free of BPA as possible?
Get Free of BPA: Check Your Plastics
Not all plastic storage containers contain BPA. One way to see if your containers do, is to look for a recycling code. Plastic containers with BPA usually have the number seven stamped within the recycling code triangle found on the container. If you have plastic containers marked with a seven, don’t use them. Some plastic containers stamped with a three also contain bisphenol-A. If in doubt, call the manufacturer and ask whether their products are free of BPA. If you have sports drink bottles or baby bottles, check with the manufacturer to verify that they’re BPA-free.
Get Free of BPA: Switch to Plastic Alternatives
When at all possible, use glass or stainless steel bottles and containers for storage of food and beverages. Glass containers and bottles may be hard to find. One way to get them is to buy a jar of fruit juice in a glass bottle and save it once the juice is gone. Save as many glass jars as you can for food storage.
Get Free of BPA: Limit the Use of Canned Foods
Metal cans are lined with a plastic liner that contains BPA. Studies have shown that the BPA from the liner can leach into canned food and levels of BPA have been found to be particularly high in soups and green beans. Buy fresh or frozen foods instead of canned whenever possible. The only BPA free company that makes canned foods is Eden Foods. You can find their products at some natural food markets.
Get Free of BPA: Other Ways to Reduce Exposure to BPA
Never heat plastics as this can cause leaching into food or beverages. Don’t buy beverages in plastic bottles and never reuse a plastic bottle unless you know it’s designed for repeated use and is free of BPA. Don’t drink soda out of cans since most soft drink cans are lined with BPA. Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of BPA so make sure their bottles and cups are completely free of BPA.
The Bottom Line?
You probably can’t completely escape BPA no matter how hard you try, but taking these steps can help reduce your exposure.