What’s BPA?




As a mum and a wife I am always researching the safest alternatives to whatever my family’s needs may be.  Beginning of the year I started to hear a lot of the abbreviation “BPA”.

What is it? What does it mean?

I knew it was linked to plastics and cans…  but I wanted to know more since I love my click on lid plastic containers which i use for snacks and just about everything!!..

BPA stands for Bisphenol -A. It is a chemical ingredient found in the lining of canned food, plastic bottles and containers. It is a synthetic estrogen that is used to harden polycarbonate plastic and used as a liner for cans.

Each year, over 6 billion tons of BPA are used to make polycarbonate plastics. Chemical bonds that BPA forms in plastic can unravel when heated, washed or exposed to acidic foods, prompting the chemical to contaminate foods. And while the plastic industry fails to see the need for alarm regarding the health impact of this chemical, researchers with no ties to the industry beg to differ.” 
(http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.7713)

You will commonly hear the term ” leaching” that is when the bond that holds the BPA together falls apart from high temp, wear, acidic food, using abrasive products for cleaning etc.. and then start to “leach” the chemicals into your food, therefore contaminating it.

BPA CAN CAUSE :

According to the lead researcher in this study, BPA mimics estradiol, a sex hormone that can trigger major changes in your body, which is why medical experts are so concerned about the impact of even tiny amounts of it showing up in people. The problems associated with BPA include:

  • Structural damage to the brain
  • Hyperactivity
  • Abnormal sexual behavior
  • Increased fat formation
  • Early puberty
  • Disrupted reproductive cycles” DR MERCOLA

and this is what (http://www.examiner.com/green-living-in-national/green-living-101-what-is-bpa-and-how-do-i-avoid-it) have to say :

“In laboratory tests, trace BPA exposure has been shown to disrupt the endocrine system. The endocrine system influences almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies, and is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, and sexual function and reproductive processesDisruption of the endocrine system triggers a wide variety of disorders, including chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy.”
WHAT DO WE DO? :BPA seem to be contained in almost everything but do we really want our food near the stuff? I would rather be able to have some control of how much BPA we are being exposed to.

Limit your exposure to BPA from canned foods and plastic containers:

  • Almost all canned foods (including canning jars) sold in the U.S. have a BPA-based epoxy liner that can leach BPA into the food inside. Pregnant women and young children, especially, should limit their consumption of canned foods to avoid BPA. (If you’re feeding your baby infant formula, use powdered formula because it has the least BPA.)
  • Buy fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned.
  • For canned veggies and fruits, choose glass bottles where available; the lids may contain BPA but less than cans.
  • For canned beans, choose Eden Foods brand because the cans are BPA-free. Or soak and cook dried beans; It’s a little more work but also costs less.
  • Rinsing canned fruit or vegetables may reduce the amount of BPA you ingest.
  • Make a special effort to avoid canned prepared foods like pastas and soups.
  • Use glass or a BPA-free plastic baby bottles.
  • Avoid polycarbonate containers (marked with a #7 or ‘PC’), especially for children’s food and drinks.
  • Use glass incstead of plastics. However, plastics marked with a #1, 2, 4, and 5 don’t contain BPA and are generally safer for food.
  • Don’t microwave plastics or fill them with hot liquids.
  • Wash plastics on the top shelf of the dishwasher, where the water is cooler, or by hand.
  • Avoid old, scratched water bottles.
  • Use stainless water bottles without plastic linings.

(http://www.examiner.com/green-living-in-national/green-living-101-what-is-bpa-and-how-do-i-avoid-it)
Plastic toys also contain BPA so you’re best alternative would be to be on the look out for natural wooden toys (better for the environment). Think about it every time you see your baby chew on that rattle .. and always be on the look out for lead free paint for the children as opposed to the plastic ones.

The effects of BPA are profoundly higher in children because they are at the growing stage.  With adults it is much less but ultimately prevention is better as much as you can.

TREATMENT :

There are numerous methods that can be used to help detoxify your body, and they vary in cost, time and efficacy. I tend to gravitate toward the treatments that are simple, effective, inexpensive and don’t involve taking a lot of supplements.
The treatments below fit all of these criteria, and can be incorporated into your daily life. They all work to support your body’s natural detoxification systems, namely your digestive system, liver, kidneys, lungs and skin.
  • Stimulate blood flow through your organs of elimination. Constitutional hydrotherapy treatments increase blood flow through your liver and kidneys, enhancing their filtering effects.
  • Increase toxin elimination through the skin. Use a sauna regularly to increase how much, how often, and how deeply you sweat.
  • Give you lungs some extra support. By practicing deep breathing exercises you can greatly enhance this vital detoxification mechanism.
  • Stimulate lymphatic flowDry skin brushing and exercise are two of the only ways to increase the flow of the lymphatic system, your body’s garbage collector.
  • Maintain optimal levels of beneficial intestinal flora. The best ways to accomplish this are by incorporating fermented foodsinto your diet.” 
    DR MERCOLA

These treatments are basic steps for any form of detox! Not that you have to run off and do this because of the BPA but if you would like to step it up these steps could be incorporated in your daily routine.  When are we not being exposed to toxins? We face it on a daily basis so why not start implementing a few of these … our bodies deserve that much!

What I did :

So obviously my first reaction was to get rid of all my plastic containers and flasks that didnt have BPA free labels on them and my next was trying to find some that did!  I even went out and purchased glass containers of different sizes with lids.  You are better off storing your food in glass than plastic but we do need a lighter choice when we are on the run so …

The start of school meant lunch boxes, water flasks and packed food!! So I had to hurry quick and
after doing much surfing on the internet, here are the products that I found to replace my old ones.
All of them I found on amazon.com

products are: KLEEN KANTEEN and Sigg
images belong to Electric Firefly

p.s
when i said I got rid of my old  ones .. instead of throwing them away I’m using them to store all my scrapbooking little bits and bobs! How great is that!! Found a “green” way of saving my plastic containers and getting organized at the same time!! Wooohooo to me 🙂

p.p.s
Obviously this post is to bring awareness to everyone.. but more importantly to the people of the GCC.  I find that the west are always on top of things and if something out there is not good for you immediately they are informed and options are available. Unfortunately not only is there little to non info on the topic in our region but also there almost nill products out there that have labels BPA free to assure you (other than the AVENT FEEDING BOTTLES)
If you know of products that are BPA free in a shop near you, please share so  that we don’t have to constantly revert to shopping online.

xoxo

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