Monday, June 27, 2011

Reducing BPA exposure: It's much easier than you think.

Photo by DAN
Chemicals in your air and even your do something about it!

Long before my mommy friends were on the bandwagon, my tot was carrying around his stainless-steel sippy cup to the odd stares and rolling eyes of parents everywhere.

With concern about BPA now mainstream, I was fascinated by this study by scientists at the Breast Cancer Fund.

They chose five families who tended to eat out, drink out of plastic water bottles, microwave plastic containers and eat canned and packaged food. Then they put them on a diet --- a package-free diet.

For just three short days the families were provided freshly prepared organic meals - no canned food and only glass storage containers.

The scientists evaluated their urine while they ate their typical diets, when they ate the fresh food and then again after returning to their normal eating habits. What they discovered was pretty remarkable.

While the families were eating the fresh-food diet, their BPA levels dropped on average by 60%, some as high as 75%.  When families returned to their regular diets, their BPA levels increased back to the pre-intervention levels.

In addition to the BPA, participants were also tested for phthalates (plastic-softening chemicals that can interfere with reproductive development). Levels of DEHP (a phthalate used in food packaging) dropped by an average of 50%.

"This study suggests that removing BPA from food packaging will remove the number one source of BPA exposure,” said Janet Gray, Ph.D., Science Advisor to the Breast Cancer Fund and professor at Vassar College. “The study should serve as a call to action for industry and government to get BPA out of food packaging and to fix the broken chemical management system that allows it to be there in the first place.”

So what should be on the top of your list to avoid? According to tests, the Breast Cancer Fund found that BPA especially leaches into canned foods that are acidic, salty or fatty. This is their top ten list:

Interested in learning more about removing chemicals from your daily life? Have you ever considered chemicals and odors in your air? In one study of commonly used household products EVERY one of the 25 air fresheners, personal care products, laundry soaps and cleaning products tested emitted chemicals that are classified as toxic or hazardous under federal laws.

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