Can I Have Some BPA with that?


About 10 years ago, a co-worker of mine told me that during college (he was a Chemistry major) that he learned that heating your food in plastic containers can leach cancer-causing toxins into your foods. I kind of smiled and said “Really?” as though I was interested. Today, I dump my food from its plastic container onto a plate before I pop it into the microwave. Oh, how I have changed.

When you start registering for baby items, you really start hearing a BPA. BPA is one of those cancer-causing chemicals found in plastic. I went to the American Cancer Society’s web page and found a page that talks about BPA. Apparently in 2008, the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) released a statement that there was “some concern” over negative health effects of BPA on infants and children. If you don’t see “BPA-Free” on your baby supplies, then maybe you should consider shopping in another store because it seems to be universal that baby items are no longer manufactured with BPA. What does that mean for the rest of us?

When I say “for the rest of us”, I really mean for the rest of us. In this reference to the NTP’s report, a statistic is cited from the CDC. In one of their surveys, 93% of people over the age of 6 were found to have BPA detected in their urine. That means that you and I have BPA in our bodies swirling around in our bloodstream and, possibly, waiting to cause cancer.

You might be thinking, I don’t really care about BPA or you might not even believe that there is any cause for concern. But the changes you can make to reduce your risk of exposure are simple and are also good for your health and the environment. Why not make the change? It certainly isn’t going to hurt you. Here are the NTP’s recommendations to reduce your exposure:

  • Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Polycarbonate is strong and durable, but over time it may break down from overuse at high temperatures.
  • Avoid plastic containers that have a #7 on the bottom.
  • Reduce your use of canned foods.
  • When possible, opt for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food or liquids.
  • Use baby bottles that are BPA free.

Here are my take-aways from this list:

  • Don’t eat processed foods. They are usually packaged in plastic.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle that is BPA free (Nalgene sells a wide variety of them).
  • Don’t put hot food in a plastic container. Wait until it cools before transferring it for storage.
  • Don’t reheat food in a plastic container
  • Use a stainless steel travel mug for your coffee.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by lennonzgal on August 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    You also shouldn’t dishwash anything with BPA in it – apparently the scalding hot water that the dishwasher uses sort of “loosens” the BPA which will seep into your food the next time you use it.

    Reply

  2. […] ban BPA this week.  We know BPA is bad for us.  We are exposed to it not only in the food we eat but also in things we touch.  Studies have already confirmed that people with higher doses of BPA […]

    Reply

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