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“One Word. Plastics”

Until recently, the abundance of plastic wasn’t a pressing health concern, despite being on our environmental radar. Now a growing body of research links the chemical bisphenol-a (BPA), commonly found in a variety of consumer products, to a range of human health problems, including a higher risk of certain cancers, reduced fertility, birth defects and diabetes.

Remember the movie, “The Graduate”?  Among other things, you may remember this word, “Plastics.”   Although the book the film was based upon was published in 1963, and the film was released in ’67, anyone listening to that advice would certainly be very wealthy right now.  We clearly live in a plastic world – today, nearly everything we touch is made out of plastic.

One of the main components of polycarbonate, the hard, clear plastic often used to make water bottles, baby bottles, food storage containers and other items like CD’s and electronic devices is BPA.  It’s even used in places that you wouldn’t consider: contact lenses, dental sealants, and the inside of cans!  You may have noticed the little arrows stamped on plastic items with numbers inside, the number to look for here is 7. Although not all plastics labeled “7” contain BPA, it’s still a good identifier, as are the letters “PC.”

As of 2005, 94 of 115 peer-reviewed studies confirmed BPA’s toxicity. For example, one study found that women with frequent miscarriages have approximately three times the blood levels of BPA as women with successful pregnancies! Our advise is to try to avoid it as much as possible!  The FDA is continuing its review of BPA, including supporting ongoing research. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about BPA, you can take these steps to reduce your exposure:

  • Seek out BPA-free products. More and more BPA-free products have come to market. Look for products labeled as BPA-free.  D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition bottles are BPA free!
  • Cut back on cans. Reduce your use of canned foods since most cans are lined with BPA-containing resin.
  • Avoid heat. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics or putting them in the dishwasher, because the plastic may break down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods.
  • Use alternatives. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers.

Categories: Ann Quasarano, Learning, Practical Advice

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