Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BPA. It's more places than I thought!

BPA: What is it? Why should I even think about it? I started thinking about all these toxic nasty chemicals when I got pregnant and even more so when my thyroid decided to not work properly. BPA is a chemical that is a hormone disruptor, commonly used in plastics and epoxies. It lurks in our daily lives in SO many places.  It is one of the most commonly produced chemicals in the world. Studies have proven over and over that there is no "safe" level. All levels of exposure to BPA in our lives produces hormone disruption of some kind in our or our children's bodies. In Canada it has been labeled TOXIC by the government. In the USA it is estimated to be in 70 percent of our plastics. Polycarbonate plastics to be specific often labeled with the number 7.
 It is used to make:
 Cd's, DVD,s, water bottles, drinking plastic glasses, kitchen appliances (like coffee pots), plastic utensils, plastic eyeglass lenses, water jugs used in office water coolers, hockey helmet visors, medical supplies, apple laptops, blackberry's, the lining of food cans, soda bottles, grocery store reciepts (Whole foods has one of the highest levels in their reciepts), newspaper print, recycled paper, epoxies, dental filling materials, surface waters, protective coating around wire piping, toys, used extensively in cars and trucks for things like headlights...
The good news about BPA is that it is metabolized quickly in the body, the bad news is we are marinating in it, so it is practically impossible to rid oneself of exposure but we can LIMIT exposure. Our highest direct exposure is through our food.
So if it surrounds me...why should I even try to limit my exposure? Here is why...the health problems it has been proven to cause( due to it's hormone mimicking). The short list of health issues caused by BPA exposure is damage in utero to future females eggs (damaging more than one generation at a time, three generations to be exact). "BPA also increases the susceptibility to prostate cancer, it reprogrammes the prostate gland and affects how it functions throughout life." There is a direct link between BPA and breast cancer, prostate cancer, increased obesity, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease. In babies it causes uro-genital abnormalities (male babies specifically), decline in semen quality in men, early onset of puberty in girls, metabolic disorders, and neurobehavioural problems.
According to lead researchers " It is not possible to envision any way of protecting people when such low active doses have such dramatic effects." There is NO safe dose. Pregnancy and early life are especially sensitive periods given infants body mass ratio to the high exposure rate. ( until recently it was in most baby bottles and unless marked otherwise it is what lines the cans of baby formula containers)
Your first question if you are like me might be "So what's the point if it's everywhere?"  Well for me my little girl and future generation is the point. I have to at least try. I won't purposefully expose her to what I know to be toxic. Here is what I do to avoid BPA in my life as much as I can.

  • I no longer buy highly acidic canned foods like tomatoes. The acidity eats away at the coating of the can. If you must buy pre diced tomatoes buy them jarred or can them yourself. 
  • opt for foods canned in glass or BPA free cans like Eden foods.
  • Pick paper over plastic at the grocery store
  • Touch your grocery reciepts with your bare hands as little as possible
  • Avoid putting plastic in the microwave. 
  • Do not put cling wrap in direct contact with food
  • Do not use disposable water bottles
  • When using plastic use the mantra 4,5,1 and 2 the rest are bad for you
Our Stolen Future
Slow Death by Rubber Duck 

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