Did you know...that the chemical BPA is harmful to children?

Editor September 11th, 2012

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used to make hard plastic products. BPA looks like and acts like the hormone estrogen. When exposed to BPA, your body can get confused and your hormone balance can change. An unbalanced hormone system can have bad effects on the body’s natural development. 

Research shows, there are health risks associated with BPA at all ages. Babies exposed during pregnancy and infants are at the highest risk of harmful health effects since their bodies are still growing. BPA is also linked to difficulty learning and a hard time controlling emotions in young children. Some research has shown a link between BPA and reaching puberty earlier than normal and obesity during adolescence. Health problems in adults like diabetes, heart problems, and infertility are also linked to BPA exposure.

BPA is found in many everyday products:

  • plastic baby bottles and sippy cups
  • plastic water and sports bottles
  • plastic food containers
  • plastic wrap
  • linings of canned goods (including soda cans, milk cartons, juice cartons and juice boxes)
  • thermal paper receipts (glossy receipts that are often curled)

Get to know recycling labels! They are the triangle-shaped plastic label on the bottom of your container. Avoid plastics marked 3, 6 or 7 because they may contain toxic chemicals like BPA. Recycling labels marked 1, 2, 4 or 5 should not contain BPA but may contain other toxic chemicals used to make plastics. Research shows that certain BPA-free alternatives are better: glass, ceramic (that does not have lead in the paint), high-quality products that are marked as stainless steel, and plastics that are marked with “Tritan.”  Not to worry! Follow these tips to help remove BPA from your life--it is easier than it may seem. 

Be wise with plastics:

  • Avoid using plastics in the microwave, freezer, or dishwasher (wash plastics by hand)
  • Throw away old or scratched plastic items
  • Store foods in containers made from glass, stainless steel, ceramic, or porcelain
  • Choose glass or silicone covers for glass containers (instead of plastic covers)
  • Look for reusable water bottle caps made of BPA-free plastic or stainless steel
  • Use glass or stainless steel baby bottles to avoid plastic bottles

Fresh is best: 

  • Eat fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Cook and heat frozen vegetables on the stove the “old-fashioned way” (rather than boiling or microwaving them in the bag)
  • Replace canned goods with glass containers
  • Do not cook directly in an opened can—be sure to move contents of can into a separate pot
  • Instead of canned beans, try dried beans, legumes, grains (saves money too!)

The best milk is breast milk:

  • Nurse babies whenever possible instead of using formula
  • Breastfeeding can give your baby healthy nutrients
  • If you can’t nurse or pump, try powdered formula (BPA has been found in liquid formula)

Thermal paper receipts:

  • Some receipts (especially those from cash registers and credit card/debit machines) contain BPA so try not to hold them for a long time
  • Keep them away from kids
  • Carry an envelope with you to collect your receipts in it

 

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