Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More information on the negative effects of BPA

I know I have blogged this before, BPA is something I avoid for our family. That can be challenging since it is a very prevalent component in many commonly used things. Plastic bottles, containers, canned goods, etc. all can have BPA exposure. Below is an article talking about why BPA may want to be avoided. We have switched to glass for most food storage and I never put hot food into plastic anymore, even in plastics without BPA. Canned foods are a no-no for me unless they come from EDEN FOODS. Eden foods has a commitment to provide quality foods without GMOs and their cans do not have BPA. Here's a link about their cans, click HERE. They are one of the only companies that does offer a BPA free can. If I find any others I will certainly pass that info on. Food storage is something I have been learning more about for the last few years. I like to be prepared for anything and that means being able to feed my family in the case of an emergency. But, unless they are Eden Foods, we don't use too many cans. I do break down once in a while and get the organic pears from Fresh and Easy but that is about it. Eden Foods has canned tomatoes (which will leech more toxins from cans since they are acidic) along with beans, rice and lentil combos, etc. Check them out and I would encourage you to support them.

BPA: Studies suggest it should be avoided
By Dr. Terry Gaff
Sunday, 26 September 2010 00:00
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to make plastic and epoxy resins, among other things, that have been both common and useful in our day-to-day life for more than 50 years.

The problem is that it may be toxic, especially to fetuses, infants and young children.

BPA, a key ingredient in polycarbonate plastic, which is clear and nearly shatter-proof, is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental fillings and sealants, eyeglass lenses, CDs and DVDs and household electronics.

Epoxy resins containing bisphenol A have also been used as coatings on the inside of almost all food and beverage cans. BPA is also a color developer in carbonless copy paper and thermal paper, commonly used in receipt paper at your checkout counter. BPA-based products are also used in foundry castings and for lining water pipes.

There are literally millions of tons of BPA produced every year. However, in the U.S., less than five percent of the BPA produced is used in food contact applications. Even that small percent may be too much.

When you look at the bottom of a plastic container, there is a little triangle with a number inside. That number indicates which of the seven classes of plastics is used in making the product.

Type seven includes several types of plastics, some of which contain polycarbonate (identified with the letters PC near the recycling symbol). Type three (polyvinyl chloride or PVC) can also contain bisphenol A. This is particularly true for “flexible PVC”, but not the PVC pipes used in household plumbing.

The concern about bisphenol A is that it can mimic the body’s hormones and may lead to health problems. However, some of that concern is more opinion than science.

A panel of experts appointed by the National Institutes of Health determined that there was “some concern” about BPA’s effects on fetal and infant brain development and behavior. This was seconded by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), regarding “the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children at current human exposures to bisphenol A,” as well as a small concern for effects on the breast tissue and an earlier age for puberty for females in fetuses, infants and children at current human exposures.

On the other hand, the NTP expressed no significant concern about exposure of pregnant women to BPA resulting in fetal or neonatal death, birth defects or reduced birth weight and growth in their babies.

Other reviews of BPA data have concluded that BPA exposure before and after birth may increase body weight and obesity.

Some research has suggested a connection between BPA and interference with brain cell connections vital to memory, learning and mood. Highly controversial claims have been made that BPA could be involved in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and other neuralgic problems.

There are lots of studies about whether BPA is related to cancer or the sensitivity to chemotherapy treatment of specific tumors. However, those questions have not been clearly answered.

A large study of health effects on 1,500 people associated with bisphenol A exposure found that higher BPA levels were associated with heart disease, diabetes and abnormally high levels of certain liver enzymes. However, these findings need to be confirmed and a second study found an associated increased risk for heart disease but not for diabetes or liver enzymes.

Studies have suggested that BPA exposure is associated with recurrent miscarriage, altered hormone levels in men, declining male sexual function and other concerns.

The problem is that plastics with BPA can break down, especially when they are washed, heated or stressed, allowing the chemical to leach into food and water and then enter the human body. In fact, the CDC has found BPA in the urine of 93 percent of surveyed Americans over the age of six years and 90 percent of newborns.

The Environmental Protection Agency has set the current U.S. human exposure limit set at 50 micrograms/kg/day. The federal government formally declared bisphenol A as a hazardous substance in October 2008 and has placed it on its list of toxic substances.

Companies like Nalgene have stopped using the chemical in their products and Toys-R-Us said it too will stop selling baby bottles made from it. Many U.S. states are considering some sort of BPA ban and other countries, like Canada and Japan, have restricted and/or eliminated the use of BPA in many products.

Even Sunoco, a producer of gasoline and chemicals, is now refusing to sell the chemical to companies for use in food and water containers for children younger than 3 years.

What I recommend is that you heat your food and drinks in glass, stainless steel or BPA-free plastic containers, which are marked with recycling codes 1, 2, 5 or 7 without the PC (polycarbonate) marking. Also, store food or drinks in these types of containers.

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