- Elianni Gaio
BPA - Bisphenol A and How to Reduce your Exposure to this Commonly Used Chemical
Bisphenol A – BPA
In this article: What is Bisphenol A? Where do we find it? Why do we need to be concerned about it? And Steps to be Taking to Reduce our Family Exposure to this chemical
BPA is a heavily industrial compound with millions of tons produced annually for primarily use in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.
Polycarbonate and epoxy resins are materials easily worked, molded and thermoformed that are commonly used in the manufacture of plastic lenses in eyewear, medical devices, dental sealants and composites, automotive components, protective gear, greenhouses, digital disks (CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray), metal coatings, used as lacquers to coat metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes, drink packaging, water and infant bottles, food storage containers, polycarbonate tableware, cosmetics and personal care products (phthalates), electronic and electrics components, electrical insulators, structural adhesives, casting compounds, sealants, varnishes, paints, in producing thermal paper such as that used in stores receipts, movie tickets and many other industrial application.
Why do we need to be concerned about BPA?
As you could have an idea, bisphenol A is a synthetic chemical compound that is largely and commonly used in the production of our daily products as well as in the food industry packaging (estimates are that more than 90 percent of all aluminum and steel can coatings are epoxy-type resins, where more than 99 percent of these has bisphenol A).
So, what causes concern is that BPA leaches out of the cans and plastics products interacting with the food, drink, and water while they are transported. Then, those products are sold and are used and ingested by consumers to a host of adverse health effects.
In a 2003-2004 survey who took part in Center for Disease Control National Health and Nutrition (NHANES), scientists tested 2,517 participants aged 6 and older and they found BPA in almost all of the people tested, revealing the extensive U.S. population exposure to this harmful chemical.
BPA is considered an endocrine disruptor (even in low doses) and is classified as a xenoestrogen, or a “hormone like” substance that mimics natural estrogen (the primarily female sex hormone) affecting the endocrine system.
Bisphenol A has been shown to play a role in the development of several endocrine disorders with adverse effects in humans, including infertility, advance in the onset of puberty, tumors such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. Also, it plays a role in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic disorders including polycystic ovary syndrome, may increase the risk of allergic reactions including asthma eczema, alterations in brain function, inflammation, immune dysregulation, etc.
How to be reducing our exposure to this chemical?
In order to be reducing our exposure to BPA and toxins in general we must avoid processed food that comes in a box, can, or that are packaged. Remove industrial seed oils, processed and refined foods and grains from your diet. Also, avoid the use of plastic food processing and storage equipment.
Always look for fresh, homemade (if possible), and unpackaged organic food, with a variety of vegetables, fruits, good fats, grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken and eggs, and fat fish in order to be strengthening yourself and your body’s natural detoxification capacity.
Besides that, as you can imagine, completely avoiding exposure to BPA may not be possible because this chemical is everywhere, However, here are general recommendations in order to minimize our BPA daily exposure:
. Use glass baby bottles (remember that BPA free are not completely safe either);
. Look for wood or fabric toys for children;
. Never microwave plastic food containers or food that comes in bags (popcorn);
. When possible opt for glass, porcelain, or stainless-steel containers;
. Never use polycarbonate cutting boards and keep away from your kitchen all plastic container and utensils;
. Use glass cups, glasses, plates and stainless-steel utensils for your kids;
. Don’t use plastic wrap in your food;
. Don’t drink of plastic bottle water opt for water bottled in glass;
. Cut back on cans;
. Avoid nonstick cookware opt for stainless-steel ones;
. Store receipts, movie tickets, and everything printed on thermal paper have traces of BPA. So, refuse them all;
. Look into labels on your cosmetics and personal products;
. Refresh the air inside your car opening the windows before driving;
. Refresh the air inside your house opening windows and doors;
. Wash your hands frequently;
. Buy what you need without excesses to be polluting your home and your environment.
Anytime you have a question about a product search on the Environmental Working Group’s Website - EWG.
With all these tips in mind and knowing that bisphenol A is a chemical that is everywhere, I would love to hear from you what changes are you implementing in your daily routine in order to protect yourself and your family from this chemical.