Avoiding Chemicals for a Healthier Lifestyle

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You’ve probably heard of BPA and perhaps have even seen it mentioned on plastic containers, usually written as “BPA free.” So if you don’t know what it is, you might automatically wonder whether or not it’s a good or bad thing.

What is BPA?

BPA (bisphenol-a) is a synthetic chemical known to mimic the hormone estrogen that is often used in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins[1].

what is BPA

Why Should We Avoid Exposure to BPA?

Many products we use on a daily basis are made with BPA, which readily breaks down and exposes us to the chemical. Additionally, when a product containing BPA is heated or washed with strong detergents, it breaks down at a much faster rate—increasing our exposure to the chemical even more[2]. Although the doses of BPA exposure may be small when looked at on an individual basis, studies have shown that repeated exposure over time may cause a variety of health concerns including, but not limited to[3]:

  • Miscarriages
  • Infertility
  • Abnormal chromosomes
  • Abnormalities in fat metabolism
  • Development of insulin resistance
  • Diabetes
  • Early onset of puberty
  • Heart disease

How Can We Try to Avoid BPA Exposure?

Unfortunately, companies are not required by law to indicate whether or not their products are made with BPA. As a result, it may be difficult to avoid all forms of BPA, yet there are several easy steps you can take to help you avoid exposure[4].

  • Avoid microwaving any food or drink in plastic containers and switch to glass containers.
  • Use reusable stainless steel or glass water bottles instead of plastic.
  • If you have a plastic water bottle, try not to exposure it to heat.
  • For food storage, use glass or stainless steel containers instead of plastic containers.
  • Avoid buying canned foods, as many liners in canned goods contain BPA. Instead, buy fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
  • Don’t accept cash register receipts.
  • Try to avoid plastics marked with the recycling symbol #7.

References