Chemical Found in Receipt Paper Linked to Cancer
Bisphenol A to scientists, BPA to the rest of us, can be slow death in a bottle or a stealth killer in a can. This deadly compound is found in just about everything.
In layman’s terms, BPA is an important, yet dangerous component for making polycarbonate plastics that we use every day.
BPA is a colorless solid. It has two phenol functional groups that are used to make polycarbonate polymers and epoxy resins, and along with other materials, used to make plastics.[4. http.///en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol-A]
From the sunglasses on your face to the plastic bottles we use to feed our babies and the cans of food we feed our families, BPA (a hormone-mimicking compound) is almost impossible to avoid.
Think it’s restricted to those products? Think again. BPA is also commonly found in:
•CDs and DVDs
•Dental Fillings and Sealants (It’s even in your teeth!)
•Regular Bottled Water
•Nearly all food and beverage bottles and cans![5. http.///en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol-A]
Bisphenol A was discovered in 1891 by Russian chemist Aleksandr Dianin. It has been used since the 1940s to harden polycarbonate plastics, make epoxy resin and used in the lining of food and beverage containers. BPA was a precursor to flame retardants and was once used as a fungicide, yet is now found in our food packaging.[6. http.///en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol-A]
Over 8 billion pounds of BPA is used by manufacturers each year. The most common public exposure comes from sales receipt paper. Even if you don’t internally ingest it, BPA can still seep into your bloodstream if you handle paper containing it.
BPA-based products are also used in foundry casings and for lining water pipes, so it has infiltrated our water systems as well.[7. http.///en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol-A]
In an article titled “The Perils of Plastic,” Time Magazine noted, “The problem is BPA is also a synthetic estrogen, and plastics with BPA can break down, especially when they’re washed, heated or stressed, allowing the chemical to leach into food and water and then enter the human body. That happens to nearly all of us; the CDC has found BPA in the urine of 93 percent of surveyed Americans over the age of six. If you don’t have BPA in your body, you’re not living in the modern world”.[2. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1976909_1976908_1976938-2,00.html]
Why you should be concerned about BPA.
BPA is an all-purpose, any-age killer. The following conditions that have been linked to BPA exposure:
•Neonatal mortality, birth defects, reduced birth weight or stunted growth. (2011 study noted that 96 percent of pregnant women are exposed to this dangerous chemical)
•Hyperactivity in children and ADHD
•Heightened sensitivity to drugs of abuse
•Heart disease (People with high levels of BPA in their systems carry a 33 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease.)[8. http.///en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol-A]
What do you need to look for in your purchasing options? Are there any BPA safe products out there? The answer is “Yes”, but you have to look for them.
There are seven classes of plastics used in packaging applications. “In general, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 1,2,4,5, and 6 are very unlikely to contain BPA. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.” [9. http.///en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol-A] These codes are found on the bottom of the bottle.
Bottles with these identification codes should never be washed in the dishwasher or used in a microwave oven, and that is according to a plastic manufacturer representative! This causes the breakdown of the BPA and other resins, allowing it to leak into the next liquid or food substance.
For the same reason, you should also never reheat your food in a plastic container. Transfer it to a glass container or non-toxic pan for the stove.
Type 7 is the catch-all code. Some type-7 plastics, such as polycarbonate (sometimes identified with the letter “PC” near the recycling symbol) and epoxy resins, are made from Bisphenol A monomer. This is the most common plastic and usually found in hard water bottles and some baby bottles.
As an alternative, choose glass bottles or stainless steel bottles without a plastic coating used as a liner.[3. www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/organic-parenting/4600]
When bottle feeding, revert to old-fashioned glass bottles. They may be a bit more trouble for the diaper bag, but in the long run, it beats dealing with various doctors for related illnesses.
Unfortunately, BPA is also found in some baby formulas. This presents another reason why breastfeeding is best. Be sure to read your labels!
The Environmental Working Group published a survey of BPA in US canned foods. In more than half the 97 products they surveyed, BPA was found in cans of common name brand fruit, vegetables, soda and other commonly eaten canned goods. That includes one in three cans of infant formula![1. http://organicgrace.com/node/316]
To circumvent these risks, choose fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, beans or grass-fed meat. If that isn’t available or in this week’s grocery budget, look for brands without BPA.
There are several websites out there with recommendations for BPA/chemical-free packaging. Use them as a resource to help your family stay safe and BPA-free.
Keeping your family BPA-free
Switch to glass storage containers. Reheat all food in glassware or non-toxic cookware. Learn the packaging lingo and read your labels!
Buy food products in glass-only bottles. Or better yet, can your own. That way you have the ultimate control over the food and nutrition for your family.
Learn what manufacturers still remain firm in their use of BPA, and refuse to purchase their products.
Becoming more educated in our food sources is great. But even the healthiest superfoods can be tainted by toxic packaging. If you ignore the packaging of your food, you just might reverse all the good you are trying to achieve.
For more information on how to keep your home toxin-free, feel free to contact your Maximized Living clinic today.