What the heck is BPA anyway? Bisphenol A is a chemical found in hard plastics and plastic coatings. It's used to make all kinds of products including water bottles, baby bottles, DVDs & CDs, household electronics, medical devices, dental fillings and sealants and even eye glass lenses. So what's the big deal?
Well, Bisphenol A is considered an endocrine disruptor, which means it interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action and elimination of your natural hormones , especially estrogen. What does this mean? For many years, BPA has been associated with cancer, insulin resistance, birth defects and can interfere with nervous and reproductive system development. There have also been many animal studies showing that even low doses of BPA can be toxic and produce effects such as damaged DNA, miscarriages, early puberty and the production of breast cancer and prostate cancer precursor cells.
So just avoid BPA then, right?! Absolutely, but it can be trickier than you think. Check out these shocking sources that you might not be aware of.
6 Surprising Sources of BPA
- Canned Foods - Beans, tomatoes, juices, soups - yup all those canned goods in your cupboard are likely contaminated with BPA because of the lovely plastic liner. Best bets are to avoid canned goods all together or look for brands that don't use BPA. Here's a good list from BPA Free Canned Food. Or why not just make your own soups, beans and juices?
- Pop Cans - luckily, I don't drink pop very often, but if you're someone who must always have a can of Coke in their hand, you might just think again. Aside from all the artificial colours and sweeteners, BPA is found in almost all pop.
- Beer & Wine - I was pretty shocked when I found this out. Wine brewed in epoxy-lined plastic vats may contain BPA, but aside from giving up wine all together you couldn't avoid it for sure. As far as beer goes, you guessed it - those cans contain BPA, so opt for bottles instead especially since BPA is highly-soluble in alcohol.
- Receipts - you know those nice little thermal paper receipts you get from every store and restaurant. Well, they contain BPA , and a pretty significant amount too! The worst part is BPA is highly absorbed through your skin. This one was pretty frightening for me as I work part-time in a shop with one of those machines. Thankfully, my boss insists on BPA-free receipt rolls! So skip the receipts next time you're out shopping. Or if you work in the industry, talk to your boss and find out what's in those rolls you are handling all day.
- Toilet Paper - oh man this is nasty! So you're doing the right thing - buying recycled paper products, but guess what that green paper is made out of? Recycled receipts! Yup, so not only are you wiping your private bits with BPA filled paper, but then once it's flushed it releases more BPA into our water and ground water. Ugh.
- Children's Toys - so most of us with kids have been aware of companies changing to BPA-Free bottles and soothers etc. But what about the toys? All those plastic birthday & Christmas presents that go in their mouths and little hands likely contain BPA. Look for items that say BPA-free and thanks to the Internet, a quick Google search can point you in the right direction for safer toys. Check out this great list from Mommy Goes Green.