9 Things You Can Do to Reduce BPA Exposure

[Guest Blog Post from Ruth Almon of Paleo Diet Basics.]

9 Things You Can Do to Reduce BPA Exposure

What is Bisphenol A?

  • Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that’s used to harden plastics. It’s been around for over a hundred years, and was considered safe. But now that it’s being used an ever increasing variety of products, and the amount of BPA in our bodies is mounting up too.

Why you should avoid it?

  • More and more evidence is turning up saying that BPA might disrupt hormones, cause behavioral problems, obesity, and even cancer, among other others. It’s disturbing to know that 93% of Americans tested by the CDC were found to have BPA in their urine. Children and infants seem to be especially susceptible.

    There’s no definitive evidence that BPA is harmful, and it may take years to find out exactly how it affects our bodies. I suggest erring on the side of caution and taking these easy steps to reduce exposure.

Which plastics have BPA?

  • Plastics with 3 or 7 in the recycling code are likely to contain BPA.


What can I do?

1. Ditch the plastic water bottle.

If you want to take water with you, use a stainless steel bottle. If you want to refrigerate your water at home, store it in glass bottles.


2. Don’t buy canned food.

Unless specifically marked BPA-free, the lining of cans almost always contain BPA. This includes soda cans (but you’ve already given up soda, right?)

A real food diet doesn’t include a lot of canned goods, so saying goodbye to canned products is a win-win.


3. Don’t fiddle with thermal paper.

Most receipts and rolls of fax paper are made of thermal paper – that paper that fades over time. Never put receipts in your mouth while you’re sorting with your wallet and purchases in a store, and don’t hold them in your hands more than is necessary. This goes for carbonless copy paper, as well.


4. Use glass in your microwave.

Heating plastics with BPA causes them to leach into your food. Choose heatproof glass containers instead (very thin glass may crack in a microwave).


5. Use stainless steel containers for boxed lunches.

The initial cost is higher, but they should last pretty much forever.


6. Replace plastic containers in the kitchen, or at least don’t heat them.

If possible, use traditional, non-reactive materials in the kitchen, such as glass, stainless steel, wood, and ceramics. Practically speaking, there’s no denying that plastic is convenient. If you do use kitchen containers and utensils, reduce leaching by keeping them cool. If you want to store hot food, let it get to room temperature before putting it in a plastic container. Additionally, it’s best to wash plastic materials by hand – not in the dishwasher.

Infants and small children are especially susceptible to the effects of BPA.

7. Use only BPA-free baby bottles and sippy cups.

Baby bottles containing BPA were banned in Canada in 2008. In 2012, the U.S. followed suit, banning the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. Replace any old bottles you might still have hanging around.


8. Never use liquid baby formula.

Fortunately, BPA does not leach into powdered formula, even though it’s found in the lining of the cans. On the other hand, BPA does leach into liquid formula sold in metal cans. These should never be used.


9. Make sure your electric kettle or coffee maker has no plastic parts in contact with water.

If heat causes BPA to leach, it stands to reason that a kettle with plastic parts could be a significant source of BPA exposure, especially if you drink lots of hot drinks during the day. Buy a kettle or coffee maker with no plastic parts in the areas that get heated.

A return to eating real food usually comes along with a reduction in exposure to packaging. Switching to traditional, more natural materials in the kitchen will further reduce BPA exposure. While we all wait for science to catch up and determine whether this chemical is harmful, we can take step to live an (almost) BPA-free life.

Bio: Ruth is a big fan of the paleo diet, having regained her health after decades of living with chronic fatigue syndrome. She’s the author of Step By Step Paleo, a guidebook that takes the guesswork out of transitioning to paleo. 

Find Ruth at Paleo Diet BasicsFacebook and Pinterest.

Views: 435

Comment by Pat Robinson on February 7, 2014 at 9:24am

Medical studies related to BPA dangers.

Pat

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