Why Plastics are Dangerous: Understanding BPA

What is it?

Bisphenol A is a hormone disruptor. Hormone disruptors interfere with the normal functioning of the hormone system of people & wildlife to produce a wide range of adverse effects. These effects include problems with reproductive systems, developmental, & disabilities related to healthy behaviors.

Why is it harmful exactly?

Even low doses of BPA have been linked in studies to have very negative effects on our systems…

In men: increasing prostate weight, making prostate cells more sensitive to hormones & cancer, lowering testosterone, causing hyperactivity & permanent changes in the genital tract.

In women: making breast cells predisposed to cancer, reducing fertility, &
In pregnant women: studies have shown increased risks of cancers and developmental disruptions to the fetus, BPA may also contribute to behavioral problems such as hyperactivity in the unborn child.

Infants, children near puberty are the most at risk to develop harmful effects from BPA. Fetuses are especially sensitive to BPA as they have the most immature detoxification system.

How do get BPA in our system?

BPA is in most polycarbonate plastic food & beverage containers, plastic food wrap, & epoxy resins used to line metal cans for food (including formula).

Recently, the U.S. court has ruled NOT to make BPA illegal, however many companies have responded by choosing to remove BPA from their packaging. Read labels & recycling codes & show consumer support by choosing products that do not contain BPA.Most plastics with the recycling code #7 contain BPA. The simpliest way many people get it in their bodies is from drinking water from a plastic disposable water bottle.

Additionally, most food is packaged in plastic, but it is the liquid that poses the most problems (and especially frozen liquids & even solids).

I was once told in a retail store, when inquiring about BPA free plastics, that BPA only leaches out of plastic when it is heated in the microwave. I also found articles online relating this. This is NOT true. Chemicals such as BPA leach more in the microwave, but they do still significantly leach into drinks or food when at room-temperature, refrigerated, or frozen, especially when we re-use plastic which breaks it down further.

Simple Avoidance in our Diets

We should all make steps to avoid BPA in our diets to protect ourselves, but because of the high risk groups, pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants, & children should be especially mindful to avoid it. If using plastic, do not put it in the microwave as it will break it down & leach the BPA or other chemicals into the food sooner. Avoid drinking soda or juice from cans. Avoid eating vegetables, fruits, & soups from cans. Instead, eat food that is packaged in glass jars, frozen, or fresh. Use a refillable stainless steel water bottle. All of these avoidance steps will not only protect your health but will help you save money.

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5 thoughts on “Why Plastics are Dangerous: Understanding BPA

  1. Keep these kind of posts coming…hopefuly we will all wake some morning and say enough is enough…I am simply not going to buy any more items from companies that only talk about green because it is the next wave of marketing. I hope in my lifetime to see folks take to the streets in civil disobedience to protest the direction our “me first” corporations are dragging us.

    That is my rant for the day…maybe I need to go up one size in my underwear. lol

    Be encouraged!

    • Thank you for saying so. And I agree, it is my opinion that the only reason ‘green business’ is ‘in’ right now is because there was a grass-roots movement that said ‘enough is enough, let’s take back our right to clean air, clean water, healthy food, & responsible business practices.’ Once the big guys saw that people would pay money for their ideals and morals to be upheld, they took advantage by advertising their ‘green’ trend but did not implement any more action of going natural except changing their wrappers to recyclable materials and painting them green. This is why I am passionate about my own business, of providing information to help the community & a product that is helpful & healing.

      Now, that being said, I do still think that big business taking these small steps is important, because every little step counts in the big picture. I also think it is inspiring to know that the people instituted change here, even if it has been small, it started with the little guy, and it will continue to grow so long as consumers don’t settle for the surface but show support with their purchasing power.

      ……very different situation, but relative to me, as I like to think in metaphors: Years ago, when this band Tatu became popular as a lesbian couple that sang pop music– it created controversy when it was discovered that the whole relationship may have been a media stunt and the two may have not been in a romantic relationship. Ellen DeGeneres was quoted saying that in her opinion it was a positive thing, the deceit, and it signified change: of an accepting world where being gay could be used as a positive media ploy (let us remember how the first Ellen show, a few years earlier, was labeled with a age-restricted warning after the main character came out as gay and was canceled soon after).

      The times they are a-changing, and I only hope that they continue moving forward.

      All the best,
      Jes Black

  2. Pingback: Know Your Recycling Codes « Daughter of the Moon

  3. I was a part of some of this research and a paper that was published on this. It is absolutely insane that we still see this in so many things even though we know it causes harm–even dental sealants! At least they’ve started making sippy cups and such without it…

    • I’m glad to hear you’ve been involved, like you mentioned before, being involved & speaking out about change is key. & I agree it’s good that the place the market changed the most was in children’s products. I think it’s because the advocacy for infants & children is always louder, their purity & inability to speak for themselves begs for our loudness, also most can agree on children’s right to healthy choices.

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