Do you regularly consume bottled water? Do you have dental fillings or sealants on your teeth? Are there household things you use everyday made from plastic? If so, you may be exposing yourself to Biphesnol A, or BPA.
BPA is a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins since the 1960s. Polycarbonate plastics are often used to make food and beverage storage containers, while resins are typically used as a coating to line the insides of food and beverage cans.
Unfortunately, BPA has been proven over time to be an endocrine disrupter, interfering with our hormonal function. Some of the harmful effects studied on humans are as follows: male impotence, higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease in adults, reduced chemotherapy efficiency, changes in sex hormones in men, breast cancer, increasing asthma rates, and reproductive disorders in women.
Research has shown that as the polycarbonate plastic or resins break down over time or are exposed to heat, it leaches out BPA into the food or drink it is containing. While the FDA says that exposure to low levels of BPA is safe, many experts continue to believe that these levels should continue to be reviewed as recent studies have brought more concerns to light.
How can you get this health threat out of your home? Here are five suggestions:
1. Eat fresh or frozen foods, rather than canned. Canned foods are lined with BPA leeching epoxy resin. Exposure to heat and time will cause your food to be contaminated with it.
2. Choose stainless steel or glass bottles for water and beverages. Not only will you eliminate BPA and other harmful chemicals that would otherwise be in soda cans or plastic water bottles, but you will also leave your environment cleaner.
3. Do not microwave in plastic food containers. The heat could break down the plastic and release BPA. Polycarbonate plastic is used to package many microwavable foods. These containers are often marked with the recycle codes #3 and #7, but not all containers with these numbers automatically contain BPA.
4. If you use plastics, try to choose ones that are labelled #2, #4 or #5 which are known to be the “safer” plastics.
5. Talk to your dentist about possible alternatives for sealants and composites that are BPA free.
Hopefully research will continue and someday all unsafe products containing Biphesnol A will be replaced by safe alternatives, but for now these tips will help you reduce the amount of BPA in your life.