Bisphenol-A (BPA), a Hormone-Disrupting Chemical - Paula Owens

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Bisphenol-A (BPA), a Hormone-Disrupting Chemical

BPA, a hormone disrupting chemicalBisphenol-A (BPA) is a synthetic, hormone-disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen. BPA is found in many everyday items including plastic water bottles, the lining in canned foods and beverages, thermal cash register receipts, and hundreds of other everyday products. BPA activates estrogen receptors disrupting hormones and affects how estrogen and other hormones act in the body by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body’s entire hormonal balance.

BPA is detectable in the bodies of more than 95% of the population. It has been found to cause estrogenic changes in animal cells at the same concentrations that are found in pregnant women and their fetuses.

Sources of Bisphenol-A, (BPA)

The main source of BPA in humans is from residues in food that leach out of polycarbonate and resin packaging.

Food storage containers Plastic bottles Canned foods & beverages
Dental sealants Plastic utensils Household dust
Cash register receipts Children’s toys & pacifiers Plastic wrap & packaging
Compact disks Makeup Adhesives

Pregnant women and children are especially sensitive and vulnerable to BPA exposure and should avoid consumption of canned foods and beverages. A 2006 study in the journal Chemistry & Biology found a link between BPA and breast cancer. In January, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that they have concerns about the chemical’s potential affects on brain development of fetuses, infants and children. In yet another study [Environmental Health Perspectives], 94% of pregnant women in the study had detectable levels of BPA. This study found that prenatal exposure to BPA puts her baby on course to obesity.

BPA is a Harmful Hormone-Disrupting Chemical

Health Risks Linked to BPA Exposure

Cancer Heart disease Diabetes, insulin resistance
Thyroid autoimmunity Depression Neurological disorders including MS
ADD and ADHD Obesity Enlarged prostate, prostate cancer
Asthma Anxiety Altered immune function
Infertility Liver problems Structural brain damage
High blood pressure Early puberty Estrogen dominance

How to Reduce your Exposure to BPA

  • Limit exposure to plastic products (especially important for women who are pregnant, breast feeding, and young children). This includes canned foods, plastic water bottles and baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, plastic wrap, canned beverages (soda, juices, beer) and thermal receipts. Canned foods with the highest levels of BPA include canned green beans, infant formula, ravioli, and canned soups, specifically chicken soup.
  • Avoid reusable plastic water and baby bottles
  • Especially avoid anything that contains the #3 and #7 recycling symbol.
  • Never heat plastic containers in microwaves or washing them in the dishwasher.
  • Use glass, porcelain, or stainless steel containers
  • Say no to receipts. Always wash your hands after handling receipts.
  • Use glass or unlined stainless steel drinking bottles. BPA-free plastics are still plastic, and derived from petroleum.
  • Ask your dentist for BPA-free sealants and composite fillings.
  • Never store water in plastic containers or bottles in a heated car, garage or warehouse. Heat plus length of storage time greatly increases the release of chemicals. The heat reacts with the chemicals in the plastic leaching dioxin into the water. If you’ve got cases of water sitting in your garage or keep bottled water in your car during the heat, you’re asking for trouble.

Protect yourself and your family. Why take a chance when there are so many healthier alternatives?

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