Bisphenol A is getting a lot of attention, with good reason. Health Canada recently reported that 95 per cent of Canadians have measurable levels of BPA in their blood or urine, with the highest levels found in children.
Potential health effects from BPA exposure include breast and prostate cancer, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a wide range of developmental problems. That's why BPA was added to Canada`s toxic substances list in 2012 and banned from baby bottles.
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But that's not enough! We need to take collective action to create a healthy, BPA-free environment.
Cut your BPA exposure now
In the meantime, reduce your exposure immediately:
1. Trade in kitchen plastic — dishes, containers and appliances — for glass, stainless steel or porcelain.
2. Choose safer plastics #2, #4 and #5 — #3 and #7 often contain BPA.
3. Swap out plastic wrap — Parchment paper, glass jars, beeswax cotton wraps or recycled aluminum foil are better options.
4. Keep plastic out of the freezer, microwave and dishwasher. BPA and phthalates leach from plastics at a higher rate in hot or cold temperatures.
5. Enjoy BPA-free coffee and tea at home. Use a glass French-press, stainless steel electric percolator or glass kettle to avoid piping hot water against plastic pieces.
6. Bring your own mug. Disposable paper cups are often lined with plastic — and they're wasteful!
7. Can the canned goods. Many are lined with BPA. Even "BPA-free" cans may contain BPS (another estrogen mimic) or PET film (which may contain DEHA).
8. Skip aluminum soda cans — also lined with BPA!
9. Breastfeed (or use powdered baby formula). BPA transfers through breast milk, so protecting you also protects baby. More BPA leaches into liquid than powdered formula.
10. Request "no receipt". Thermal paper (receipts, event and cinema tickets, airline tickets) contain BPA. It transfers to your fingers and, when recycled, can leach into new paper products (like toilet paper).
11. Play it safe. Wood and cloth toys are excellent, toxin-free alternatives to plastics.
12. Talk to your dentist. Dental sealants and composites can contain BPA.
BPA is readily eliminated from our bodies. So while we push for a regulatory framework that protects our health and environment, these changes will go a long ways towards reducing your exposure right away.
Tovah Paglaro, Queen of Green