Smiling like Sunshine: How to avoid BPA?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

How to avoid BPA?

I think by now we all  know BPA is all around us. If however you still haven't heard of BPA, it stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical ingredient used in plactics.

  While the polymers BPA creates are strong, they easily release the substance, which can get into our bodies not only through contact with BPA-laden products themselves but also through food, dust, and air. Potential adverse effects—which can occur at very low levels of exposure—include disrupted genetic signaling and hormone activity that can lead to diabetes; obesity; impaired reproductive, developmental, neurological, immune, and cardiovascular system function; and certain cancers. Of particular concern are the effects of BPA on infants and children. BPA eventually does break down, but the chemical is in so many products that it is virtually ubiquitous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found BPA in more than 90 percent of the Americans it has tested. (source Weston Sustainability Committee)

While attention has focused on the use of BPA in baby bottles, its presence in canned food or packaged food is potentially even more troubling. Even the receipts that you handed at the end of a shopping contain BPA. Going BPA-free is definitely a challenge in these times.
Here are a few things that I do to keep my family BP-free.
  • Most of the food choices I make are for fresh  organic  foods. My problem is I buy them from the grocery store, so they are still packed. (This study shows  that vegetables and fruits packed in shrink wrap have highly levels of plastic compounds in their flesh.) The farmer's market in our town unfortunately does not sell ogranic food.
    • I cook beans from scratch, so easy to freeze extra. 
    • As for freezing, I freeze our food in glass containers.  
    • I switched to glass for food storage. If you have plastic ones, make sure they are not Polycarbonate. These plastic containers should be marked with a number 7 on the bottom or the letters "PC". Look for plastics labeled #1, #2 or #4 as these don't contain BPA.
      • I limit canned food consumption. (I only buy chopped tomatoes during winter because in the UK, tomatoes are generally imported, picked when raw and never taste as good as they should be)
      •  I avoid plastic toys where possible. I think this is really important as most babies go through a mouthing stage.
      • As for the teething toys (and if you are using soothers or dummies), look out for the BPA-free ones or better yet use natural rubber ones.
      This was not all good, I realise. However  Dr. Alan Greene talks about a study where it is argued that certain nutrients can counteract BPA.

      What do you do to avoid BPA?
        Further reading:

        8 comments :

        1. Sadece BPA free yazanlari kullanmak da cozum degil ama ne yazik ki :( Biberonda mesela, yeni icat edilen bal renkli olan BPA free biberonlarin plastiginin yan etkileri bilinmiyor. Onda da polikarbonatlarda oldugu gibi sorun cikabilir.
          Benim su anda en buyuk sorunum 19L'lik su siseleri. Doktorlar bile musluk suyunu onerir oldular ama onda da en son gumus atiklari sebebiyle zehirlenme yasandi. Ona da guvenmek imkansiz. Dolayisi ile polikarbonat olmayan cam bidon bulma sorunumuz var. Ayni sey UK'de de var. Kullanilan suzme su surahileri polikarbonat. Orada da 19L lik polikarbonat bidonlarda su satiliyor. Dedigin gibi kasa fislerinde bile olduktan sonra kacmak imkansiza yakin ama gene de savasiyoruz...
          - Biz de konserve -ozellikle de tenekede olanindan(cunku tenekelerin ic yuzeyi BPA iceren madde ile kaplaniyor)- besin tuketmiyoruz.
          - Taze organik olani tercih ediyoruz, olmadi yerel olan paketlenmis olandan iyidir diyoruz.
          - Icme suyunu ozellikle kucumen icin cam sisede aliyoruz.
          - Alisveris fislerini yiyeceklerin arasina koymuyoruz, cuzdanimizda tutup en kisa zamanda onlardan kurtulduktan sonra ellerimizi yikiyoruz.
          - Plastik oyuncak kullanmamaya calisiyoruz.
          - Tencere ve mutfak kaplarinin arasindaki plastikleri attik. Cam, celik olanlari kullaniyoruz, buzluk kaplari dahil, hatta mumkun oldugu yerlerde buzluk poseti de kullanmiyoruz.
          - Yanimizda tasimamiz gereken yiyecekleri cam kap icinde tasiyoruz. Biraz agir oluyor ve dikkat gerektiriyor ama bir sure sonra aliskanliga donusuyor.
          - Evde polikarbonattan yapilma biblo benzeri esyalar dahi olsa tutmayip uzaklastirmaya calisiyoruz.(cicek gelmisti mesela, onun kabini attik cok s1k olmasina ragmen!) Cunku kucumen bir sekilde onu oyuncaga donusturup, icine sivi koyup icme tesebbusunde bulunabilir diye dusunduk. Evcilik esyalari pek kiymetli kucukhanimin...
          Sizden cok farkli degil yaptiklarimiz sanirim. Ama Turkce okuyan olursa kolaylik olsun dedim :)
          Sonsuz sevgiler :)

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        2. Dilekcigim,cok tesekkurler yorumun icin.Turkce okuyanlar icin guzel bir ozet olmus:)

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        3. BPAli plastiklerden kaciniyorum ama konserve nohut, diger konserve bakliyat ve tabii konserve domatesten vazgecemedik. konserve domates konusunda fazla yapacak birsey yok, belki cam konserve salca kullanip fazla domates kullanmamak cozum olabilir, cunku turk mali cam salca bulabiliyorum. bakliyatlari da kendim usenmeyip haslayip dondurursam sorun cozulecek sanirim.

          isil 1 numara iyidir demissin ama sanirim 1 pet sisenin maddesi ve tekrar kullanima uygun degil, ilk kullanimda guvenli ama tekrar kullanildikca leaching oluyormus, yani recycle etmek daha mantikli. 5 numara nispeten guvenli ve tekrar kullanima uygun bir plastik diye biliyorum, evren'in bu konuda bir yazisi vardi, bir de verdigi plastiklerin aciklamasi hakkinda bir link vardi:
          http://www.plasticfreebottles.com/pdf/Understanding-Plastic-Codes.pdf
          http://basitbiryasam.blogspot.com/2010/09/once-su-plastik-geri-donusum-kodlarini.html

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        4. Bahar,tesekkurler yorumun icin,kodlari tekrar kontrol edecegim.

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        5. Great post with lots of really helpful tips - thanks

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        6. Great info! It's scary how prevalent BPA is.

          We try to avoid canned food, but when there is something I would really like in the canned form, we use Eden Organic - http://www.edenfoods.com/articles/view.php?articles_id=178
          All of their canned food is BPA free :-)

          Thanks for linking up at Green & Natural Mamas Thursday again!

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        7. Great post! I just wrote a similar one about 2 weeks ago.I guess BPA is on everyones mind.....:)

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        8. Great post! Thanks.
          3 things I learned recently about bpa is that:

          1. The lids in canning jars are lined with BPA. Here I thought all my home canned items were safe!!! Although since its only in the lid I think the exposure to bpa is limited.

          2. When you eat just one can of food a day with a bpa lining you are getting too much bpa!

          3. By completely stopping using anything that is in contact with bpa you can lower the level of bpa in your body to zero in a very short period of time. So at least there is some good news!

          You can buy bpa free canning lids but they are lined with a different plastic so who knows what they will find about that plastic!! There are also glass canning lids by Weck but they are very pricy.

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