If you’re someone who has been following the news as it relates to environmental health, then you have probably heard “BPA” brought up in conversations before. It stands for Bisphenol-A and it is an industrial chemical that has been used for product packaging and the construction of many other items since the early 1960s. However, it’s been over the past several years that researchers have discovered that with BPA, there are some potential environmental and health risks that come with using it.
Due to the fact that BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics, this means that it’s in many water bottles, baby bottles and other containers for food and beverages. Although research is continually being conducted, there has been evidence found that long-term use of BPA in our systems can detrimentally affect our brain, our behavior and the prostate glands of fetuses and young children. There is concern that it plays a significant role in affecting the health of a woman’s mammary glands and overall reproductive health. There have also been studies to support that it accelerates a young girl’s puberty cycles.
What Is Made with BPA?
Although it’s close to impossible to totally live a “BPA-free existence”, there are definitely some proactive measures that you can take to keep it from being a part of your daily intake. First of all, it’s good to know what items contain BPA. Aside from most water and baby bottles, the common coatings of metal foods cans and most water coolers also are made with BPA. But it’s not just used for containing food and drink. There are many sunglasses, CDs and DVDs and electronic equipment that are made with this substance, as well as bulletproof glass and construction glazing.
How to Use Less BPA
So, now that you see how much of a presence that BPA has in our everyday lives, you might want to some tips on how to avoid it. There are many centers for lab testing across the country that are working to provide answers to this very question. For now, the recommendations include looking for products that have a BPA-free label. For instance, the Thermos brand (Thermos.com) is one company that prides itself in making BPA-free items. Another tip is to buy less canned food; to purchase more fresh produce instead. Another idea is to use alternatives to plastic such as glass, porcelain or stainless steel. Still, another suggestion is to avoid microwaving items made with BPA. Research indicates that after heating food up in containers made from BPA, it can actually start to break down the components of it and integrate with the food. As far as the health and well-being of your child, there are BPA-free bottles that you can purchase. Evenflo markets a line of BPA-free bottles and glass bottles as well. So does, Dr. Brown’s, Born Free and Green to Grow. When it comes to items that you don’t eat, for obvious reasons, they do not pose the same kinds of health risks, but if you are someone who would like to see the world with less BPA in it in general, it certainly doesn’t hurt to contact the manufacturer of the DVD player that you are considering buying or the construction team that you are contracting to discuss with them if they have any BPA-free products and materials. If they do, that makes them all the better to work with. If they don’t, you just may have given them something smart to think about.