What’s all the fuss about BPA?

Three Cans of Vegetables

What is it?

Bisphenol-A or BPA is a chemical used to make polycarbonate and epoxy resins. It is found in numerous products including canned food, plastic beverage containers and kids toys.

Why is it so dangerous?

According to the Environmental Working Group, “BPA is a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the endocrine system, even in small amounts. It has been linked to a wide variety of ills, including infertility, breast and reproductive system cancer, obesity, diabetes, early puberty, behavioral changes in children and resistance to chemotherapy treatments.”

BPA mimics estrogen. Can you imagine the impact this has on a young child’s developing body? Researchers have linked BPA and other endocrine disruptors like phthalates to the new puberty age of 10. According to a study in Pediatrics, 15% of American girls experience puberty at age 7. Do any of you remember what you were doing at age 7? I can remember playing outside on the playground and learning simple math in the classroom but I was definitely not worried about puberty.

How much exposure is too much?

This was my personal wake up call. A Harvard study found that when only one serving of canned soup was consumed every day for 5 days the amount of BPA concentration increased by 1,000%, compared to those who consumed fresh soup. Even one serving has a significant impact on our health.

How can I avoid it?

-The biggest offender is canned food. Buy fresh or frozen instead.

-Never microwave your food in plastic. Heating up these chemicals leaches them into your food.

-Avoid plastics marked #7 or PC

-BPA is also found in thermal paper, like store receipts. Avoid handling them if possible and never give them to kids.

-Dental sealants can contain BPA, ask your dentist before you get one.

-Buy wooden toys for kids or look for safer plastics

My final thought:

Canned food has been a major part of our culture for over 60 years and it is very convenient to reach into the pantry and pull out a canned food product when preparing dinner. We are used to this lifestyle of convenience, and that’s ok…it’s the culture we live in. But challenge yourself to look for safer options, read labels, and care about whats in your food, because I guarantee no one else is doing it for you.