August 14th, 2008
The modern world is filled with seemingly unending dangers, whether they’re lurking under your sink, in your refrigerator or in your own bed. While some of these threats are overblown, others can pose a real risk to your health if left unchecked and unresolved. One of the health risks that has been brought to light and is something you really should be concerned about has to due with the substance BPA, or Bisphenal A, found in many polycarbonate food containers. BPA can leach out of these plastics and into the food itself, exposing consumers to the chemical compound. Why is this a big deal? Because BPA acts like a synthetic estrogen, increasing your risk of breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease and can cause birth defects and developmental problems in children.
It might not be possible to entirely eliminate your exposure to BPA, it’s in a whole host of products, but you certainly can limit how much of it you come in contact with on a daily basis. Here are some things to avoid if you’re worried about your risk of BPA exposure.
Check your plastics. BPA plastics are often marked on the bottom with a PC and the recycling number 7. While not all #7 plastics contain BPA, this is a good guideline to follow which picking and choosing plastic packaged products.
Don’t heat or store food in plastic containers. Normally, the amount of BPA that leaches from plastics into food is fairly low, but when these plastics are heated they can get into foods at much higher levels. Never reheat or store hot foods into plastic containers to cut down on your risk of exposure.
Rise canned foods before eating. Many canned foods have a plastic lining on the interior on the can, containing BPA which can leach onto your foods. Rinsing these foods before eating can help reduce this, but the best approach is to eat fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible.
Get a stainless steel water bottle. If you like to carry water with you, switch from a plastic bottle to a stainless steel version. Just make sure the stainless bottle isn’t lined with plastic before purchasing.
Don’t use plastic baby bottles. Young children and infants are at the greatest risk when it comes to BPA exposure. Make sure all bottles you use are glass or BPA free before using them with a baby.
Help transition your kitchen to a much-less plastic friendly place and you’ll be doing your health a favor both today and years down the road.
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