If you’re a parent, you should be familiar with BPA and the effects it has on babies and children. It’s why you see so many baby products labeled BPA-free.
But what are you doing to protect yourself from its harmful effects? A lot of men and women drink from plastic bottles and store food in plastic containers with little regard to whether or not they contain BPA or other dangerous toxins.
Unfortunately, the U.S. hasn’t banned the use of these chemicals, so we have to educate ourselves about them in order to protect ourselves. Here’s what you can do.
Educate yourself about BPA
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical that’s used all over the world for making plastic products and epoxy coatings (what you’ll find in the lining of metal cans used for food).
Millions of people are exposed to this toxin on a low level everyday, from canned foods and bottles. When these are stored in hot places, it can cause the toxin to leach into the liquid or food, which you then ingest.
The problem with this is that BPA is an environmental estrogen, which means it increases your chances of developing breast cancer, especially when you’re exposed to it for many years.
Over time, it adds up, and this is why we see so many women, and some men, battling breast cancer today. Couple this with other ways you’re being exposed to estrogen, such as through building supplies, soy products and meat and dairy that are made from animals that have been injected with hormones.
When your body is overloaded with estrogen, your chances of breast cancer — or cancer period — are increased.
How You are being exposed to BPA
If you look on the bottom of your plastic bowl or bottle, you will see the #7 recyclable symbol and the letters PC, which stand for polycarbonate.
But keep in mind that not all #7 plastic are polycarbonate. And you have to be careful because sometimes, manufacturers don’t put any recyclable code on their products.
Tin cans are also known to contain BPA in the lining inside. This lining is made of epoxy, which is made up of BPA, and is used to protect the metal from corrosion and prevents the food from having a metallic taste. But during the canning process, high heat is used, which can cause BPA to leach into your food.
If you’ve had dental sealants placed on your teeth to prevent cavities, BPA was likely used. This means that you are being exposed to BPA continuously over time. You should definitely find out what your dentist used and see if you can have it changed to something safer.
Various food packaging contains BPA chemicals — another reason why you should remove processed pre-packaged foods from your diet…whole foods is the way to go!