Just a few years ago you were all throwing away your plastic ware, plastic kitchen utensils and baby bottles after information about the toxic chemical, bisphenal-A (BPA) hit the media and became a big health-scare phenomenon. Now you have all been searching for products with a “BPA-sticker” on it. But are BPA-free products safer?
First, let’s take a look at what BPA actually is.
BPA is a key ingredient that is used to make plastic ware and canned food linings. However, this chemical has been shown to interfere with the endocrine (or hormone) system, which can lead to:
- Structural damage to the brain – causing hyperactivity, aggressiveness, impaired learning and ADHD
- Female hormone damage leading to cancers, infertility, fibroids, early menstruation and endometriosis
- Increased fat formation
- Impaired immune function
- Heart conditions
- Male hormone disruptions causing increased prostate size, erectile dysfunction & infertility
- Preterm birth
- Reduced efficacy of chemotherapy treatment.
It is with these health risks, which has lead to the removal of BPA from many products.
This may seem like good news, however, what you are not told is the fact that the BPA must be replaced by something else. It turns out that many manufacturers simply just swap BPA with bisphenol-S (BPS) – just another hormone-mimicking chemical that has been shown in numerous studies to produce the exact same dangerous health effects as BPA. In fact, it was discovered that even very low concentrations of BPS can have a negative and critical effect on cellular functioning – causing metabolic disorders and cancer. So, unfortunately most BPA-free products are just as hazardous – leaving us with a false sense of security and expectation.
How you can reduce exposure of BPA and BPS:
Nonetheless, it’s not at all difficult to avoid both BPA and BPS products with these simple tips:
- Avoid buying foods in plastic or canned packaging. Choose products that are packaged in glass bottle or jars
- Don’t use plastic or rubber utensils – look for stainless steal, ceramic or wooden utensils
- Store your food in glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers rather than plastic containers or wraps
- Use glass containers if heating food in microwaves as heat actually increases the release of chemicals
- Freeze food in glass containers as freezing plastic can also increase the release of chemicals
- Bring your own mug! Disposable paper cups are often lined with plastic and are very wasteful
- Breastfeed your baby exclusively if possible to avoid exposure from bottles and infant feed formula containers
- Choose toys for your children made from natural materials
- Avoid handling receipts as they have a very high level of BPA which can absorb through your skin
Despite these health concerns, here’s some great news! Both BPA and BPS eliminate from our bodies quite quickly once we stop ingesting it, so while these changes may seem difficult at first they will definitely go a long way towards reducing toxicity throughout our bodies and minimizing the potential dangerous health risks.