Wait, what? I’m exposing my family to BPA? How?
Before I get into the list of how you might be exposing yourself to BPA, let’s go over the basics.
What is BPA and why is it bad for you?
BPA is short for bisphenol A.
It’s a chemical that is commonly found in cans, food containers, and other products (will mention later in this post). BPA is similar in structure as the hormone estrogen and therefore binds to estrogen receptors thus potentially becoming an endocrine disruptor. That means it can affect hormonal systems such as puberty and fertility in both men and women for example.
Please note even if a product says “BPA-free”, there may be BPS or BPF which are chemicals very similar to BPA yielding similar effects to the human body.
So what contains BPA?
Here is a list of some of the many products that can contain BPA. Mamas, you all ready for this?:
- Some plastic baby toys
- Some baby formula (liquid)
- Aluminum can linings (soda, soup, canned vegetables and fruits)
- Receipts and mailing labels
- Dental filling sealants
- Plastic wrap
- Some pizza boxes
- Plastic products with recycling numbers 3 and 7 or the letters “PC”
- And more…
Even baby products can contain BPA
Most people are exposed to BPA largely through their diet, especially if they eat packaged foods and/or canned foods. Sadly, that includes baby formula that is packaged in BPA-containing bottles. WHO reported babies that are fed liquid formula from BPA-containing bottles had BPA levels that were up to 8 times higher than breastfed babies.
How can I help decrease BPA exposure for me and my family?
- Check to see if can labels say “BPA-free”
- Instead of consuming packaged foods, eat fresh foods
- Avoid foods that are packaged in plastic containers with recycling numbers 3 or 7 or the letters “PC”
- Go paperless when it comes to receipts. Instead of asking for a paper receipt, ask merchants to email a copy to you or just take a picture of the receipt.
- If you have to handle receipts/mailing labels, wear gloves
- Drink and eat from glass containers rather than plastic
- When purchasing toys for babies, be mindful to choose toys that are BPA-free
- Instead of liquid baby formula, purchase powdered baby formula
- Choose baby bottles that clearly state “BPA-free”
- When heating up food in the microwave, use glass containers (even if a plastic container says microwave-safe, most if not all plastics still leach BPA when heated in the microwave)
Knowledge is powerful but actually doing something about it is what makes lasting changes. Try out some of the tips above to limit BPA exposure for you and your family!
Cheers to a happy and healthy home!