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Posted on 10-21-2015

Posted: April 7, 2015
By: Dr Peter Clark

What is the big deal about BPA?

BPA / Bisphenol A, BPS / Bisphenol S, and philates are chemicals used in plastic polycarbonate products including water bottles, baby bottles, dental fillings, sealants, dental devices, household electronics, DVDs etc. Additionally, it is used in the coatings of the inside of food and drink cans.  It is pretty much everywhere and we are continually being exposed. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) ran a study and found that 93 - 95% of people (all ages) had samples of BPA in their urine. 

BPA gets absorbed through the tiny blood vessels under the tongue. (It cannot be absorbed through the skin, but can have hand to mouth transfer from things like thermal paper reciepts, movie tickes etc) From there it is absorbed into the bloodstream. BPA acts like a hormone and disrupts the endocrine system. The endocrine system is comprised of the glands that control and regulate metabolism, growth and development, reproduction, sleep, mood, and other functions of the body. Babies and young children are particularly sensitive to the effects of BPA.

BPA has been linked to health problems including breast cancer, heart disease, reproductive disorders, sexual disorders, obesity, poor dental health, Type 2 diabetes, memory, learning and brain function, and behavioral problems in children, among other problems. BPA may also reduce the efficacy of chemotherapy treatement.

Never microwave in plastic and do not wash plastics in harsh detergent. Microwaving and washing actually break down the polycarbonate allowing more of the the BPA leach out.

So we can just use BPA-free products.... right?.....

Well, yes and no. It was believed for years that BPA-free plastics were safe to hold food items. It is now showing that is not the case. The harmful chemicals have been replaced with other harmful chemicals. sigh.

Good news, there is a solution.

While completely ridding your life of BPA isn't going to happen in the typical American home, you can cut down on your exposure by simply using glass. Many people find glass to be less than optimal. Personally, I prefer the taste of foods (especially water) that has been stored in glass. Glass isn't expensive, most are microwave safe (another topic for another time), washes easily, and properly treated will last indefinitely. 

Another way to cut down on contamination is to wash hands after handling BPA containing items such as thermal paper used for receipts, movie tickets etc.

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