by Geri Walton ~ January 16th, 2009
Bisphenol-A, commonly abbreviated BPA, is a potentially cancer-causing toxin. It is everywhere and has been suspected of being hazardous to humans since the 1930s. BPA is found in metal cans and various plastics, including most baby bottles. The Environmental Working Group claims bisphenol A can leach into foods, which means probably everyone’s been exposed to it, and it has implications for everyone, including pregnant women and their babies.
A study conducted by Duke University researchers used pregnant agouti mice that were fed BPA-laced food at levels “[levels] five times lower than…[those] considered harmful for mice.” The researchers discovered that even though the levels were supposedly low, BPA “caused noticeable changes in the offspring without altering any of the offspring’s genes.” The study concluded, mice born to BPA-fed mothers were at a “much greater risk for diabetes, obesity and cancer.”
Researchers also learned that when the women were given folic acid or phytoestrogen genistein (an active ingredient in soy), BPA’s influence was “counteracted.” This means dietary or nutritional approaches may help to counteract the bad effects caused by toxins, such as bishpenol-A. It may also explain why Asians, who often eat a soy-rich diet, have lower rates of cancer and obesity.
To reduce your exposure to BPAs, you can do the following things:
- Ask your dentist about the ingredients used in products because BPA may leach into dental products.
- Avoid canned foods with high fat content because they may have higher levels of BPAs. Also, reduce your overall consumption of canned foods to avoid BPA exposure.
- Do not use polycarbonate (PC or #7) bottles. Use glass, stainless steel, or polyethylene bottles (HDPE or #2; LDPE or #4; PETE, PET, or #1) instead.
- Do not heat foods in polycarbonate containers because BPAs leach into foods at high temperatures. Use ceramic or glass containers instead.
The Center for Health, Environment, & Justice (CHEJ) is conducting a campaign to get BPAs removed from baby bottles, if you’re interested in learning more, click here. If you want to purchase BPA-free bottles for sports use, click here for the CamelBak BPA-Free Water Bottle with Bite Valve. If you’re interested in BPAs and your health, and if you want answers to such questions as how you’re exposed to BPAs, what it does in your body, and what it means for your overall health, CHEJ as more information, so click here.