Meet Bisphenol A

BPA Potential Health Effects: Altered development of the brain, early onset of puberty

aka “BPA,” “The Mimic,” and “Hormone Wrecker”

Biography

BPA has enjoyed international popularity as plastic additive for decades. But now, due to recent revelations of leaching and hormone disruption, BPA is flirting with outlaw status. The chemical industry stands by BPA, for now; but product manufacturers are starting to give him the cold shoulder.

How to avoid

1. There’s no sure-fire way to completely avoid BPA until Congress passes legislation that will require chemical manufacturers to demonstrate that their products are safe before they end up in our bottles, boxes, cans, and bodies.

Until then...

2. Avoid canned infant formula -- choose dry, powdered formula which doesn’t contain BPA in the lining, instead. If you must use liquid formula for medical reasons, check with the manufacturer to see if they offer a BPA-free version.

3. Bypass the canned foods by eating fresh or frozen produce and buying processed food in "brick" cartons, pouches or glass.

4. Switch out your plastic water bottles for stainless steel or glass.

5. Stay clear of baby bottles or sippy cups made of polycarbonate (hard, clear, shatterproof) plastic. They are marked with the recycling symbol #7, and sometimes labeled "PC."

6. Nix the canned soda and beer – choose glass containers, instead.

7. Ask your dentist to provide BPA-free dental sealants.

8. Say ‘no thanks’ to the cash register receipt.

Frequent hangouts

Re-usable water bottles, baby bottles, sippy cups, canned food (especially green beans), canned soda and beer, liquid infant formula, recycled paper and cardboard (pizza) boxes, credit card receipts, dental sealants, home canning equipment, and more.

Why he's dangerous

Researchers have linked early developmental exposure to BPA with abnormal development of the brain, behavioral changes, predisposition to cancer, early onset of puberty, reproductive harm, abnormal chromosomes, insulin resistance, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, and heart disease.

Fun fact

Scientists didn’t realize BPA could leach out of plastic and into our bodies until a series of lab accidents in the 1990s. Read about BPA’s startling rise to notoriety.

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