BPA is Back: Why and How to Avoid it
BPA: the worrisome chemical that many food companies have promised to stop using, but haven’t.
A recent study performed by the Breast Cancer Fund found that 67% of cans or lids still contain BPA. Since then, a slough of companies like Campbell’s Soup Co. and Del Monte Foods and have announced plans to, yet again, phase out of BPA.
But, why all the fuss? BPA, which stands for bisphenol A, exhibits hormone-like properties, specifically estrogen. It’s used to make plastics and epoxy resins, which appear in common household items, like food containers and water bottles. Once a container made using BPA is heated, the chemical can easily leak into foods and beverages, which make their way into our bodies.
Although issues such as disruptions in nervous system and reproductive system development have only been observed in animals, studies have shown that prenatal exposure to BPA can lead to behavioral problems and childhood asthma. This is why the FDA issued a ban on BPA in children’s products like baby bottles and sippy cups back in 2012.
But fear not, there are plenty of ways to skip the BPA.
Use different plastics. If you absolutely use plastic, opt for #2, #4, and #5, which you can reuse safely, according to Baby Green Thumb.
- Avoid the cans. When scouring the grocery store aisles, look for non-canned items, like spaghetti sauce in a glass jar instead of a can.
- Say “no thanks” to those receipts. Studies performed by the Environmental Working Group found BPA in two-fifths of the tested receipts. Touchings these receipts may leave traces of BPA on skin, and once thrown away, these receipts can leach BPA into other materials.
- Use non-plastic containers to store foods and drinks. Branch Basics tells us that the best material is glass, because of its inert nature and nonporous surface. With Mason Bottle, you don’t need to worry about BPA: simply heat the milk (but not too much!) or whatever drink in the glass mason jar by detaching the nipple and the lid, and you’re good to go!