In addition to watching out for the chemicals we ingest and put on our skin, there are chemicals hidden in products you may not even be aware of.
A frightening chemical known as Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in products ranging from plastic water bottles to tooth fillings. At one point, the FDA said it had “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.” More recently, the FDA put out a statement saying, “BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods” and “the use of BPA in food packaging and containers is safe.” With conflicting stances and the hundreds of other studies published regarding the harmful effects of BPA, I’d rather avoid it and not wait to find out how the FDA is going to feel about Bisphenol A in another ten years.
The original doctor who proposed that BPA may be a risk to humans, even in small doses, was Dr. Feldman of Stanford University. “At that point we realized that we had identified a molecule that was leaching out of the plastic that, because of its estrogenic hormonelike properties, had the potential to be important and perhaps even dangerous to people who were eating or drinking out of containers made of this type of plastic, polycarbonate.” To read the full interview with him regarding his discoveries and why he believes BPA is dangerous, click here. Dr. Feldman ultimately argued that it’s better to be safe than sorry, an attitude that I find important in today’s society where wild card chemicals are appearing in more and more of our every day products.
So how does BPA get into your body? The primary way is through beverage containers and canned food. The amount of BPA that actually comes off of the container and is ingested by a person depends on a few factors, but mainly the temperature of the container (or contents of the container) and the age of the container made with BPA.
Here is what you can do to limit your intake of Bisphenol A:
- Drink tap water or use BPA-free water bottles. Here is a great one on Amazon (and dishwasher safe, too)
- Don’t microwave your food in plastic
- Avoid canned food unless it is labeled “BPA free”
- Use a french press to make your coffee as some coffee makers have BPA and phthalates in their plastic containers and tubing. French press coffee is delicious anyway!
- Read more: 7 Secret Sources of BPA from CBS News
By Courtney Perry