As moms, we’ve all looked for the bottles that say BPA free. In this post, I’m going to share some shocking information about BPA and the threatening exposure most people aren’t aware of.
What is BPA?
Bisphenol A was discovered in the late 1800′s. In the early 1930s the British chemist Charles Edward Dodds recognized BPA as an artificial estrogen.During that time BPA had two initial uses. The first use of BPA was to enhance the growth of cattle and poultry. The second use of BPA in the mid 1930s was as an estrogen replacement for women. BPA was only briefly used as an estrogen replacement (Wikipedia). Since the 1950′s BPA has been used to harden plastics and as a liner in aluminum cans. In recent years, conclusive studies have shown incredible risks to fetal development as well as the development in children. It has been shown to disrupt normal hormone function and effect hormone productivity. It has also been shown to have negative effects on reproductive development. It has been labelled a toxic substance in Canada and Europe and was banned in both countries from it’s use in baby bottles.
The level of exposure to BPA is shocking. Infants and children are most at risk and now they are showing that even low levels can pose serious health concerns. It is one of the most insidious chemical exposures. Scientists are currently researching the connection of BPA with increased hormone disfunction, reproductive abnormalities and infertility, obesity, cancer and behavioral problems.
Shocking Exposure Risks
While baby bottles and sippy cups are now labelled as BPA free, what most moms aren’t aware of is all the hidden sources of BPA. Currently, ALL Can’s of baby liquid formula are lined with BPA. Enfamil formula appears to have the highest concentrations of the 20 tests. EWG is concerned about BPA exposures for babies fed liquid formula. Choose powdered formula which may not have BPA in packaging and which is more diluted with water. If your baby needs liquid formula look for types sold in plastic or glass containers. Soaring levels of BPA have been found in individuals who eat canned food. I found this particularly shocking because I was feeding Trinity canned garbanzo beans and olives.
High levels of BPA can be consumed from products that are contained in cans or plastic. This increases if the plastic is heated in the microwave such is in microwavable meals or plastic containers or plastic wrap. Many brands of plastic wrap and sandwich bags contain BPA although although Ziploc and Glad do not. If you’re buying anything at a dollar store, you can most certainly guarantee it contains BPA. Unfortunately BPA is not banned here in the US and the cheaper products are laden with it.
What You Can Do:
The best strategy is to avoid all foods and packaging that contains BPA. However, this may be impossible to do because so much of it is in our environment and products. For instance, if you go out to eat, you have no means to ensure that the food you are eating hasn’t been cooked in plastic, bought in cans lined with BPA or somehow exposed to BPA.
The best strategy is to buy fresh, organic and local. Food in jars is better than food in cans. Also food in cardboard packages does not contain BPA.
Here are a few sites that give good references to canned foods and plastics without BPA. Be sure to evaluate these products yourself for the accuracy of this information.
BPA in Foods Marketed to Kids