I am hoping to build awareness and instill your interest by presenting some facts and important details. The concern for our children’s health always trumps those facing we as adults. Our unborn certainly are unable to make choices for their own health.
How can BPA exposure potentially impact you and your kids’ health?
Once BPA is in our bodies, it imitates our hormones, such as estrogen. Studies have shown that even low-level exposure can lead to reproductive harm, including poor sperm count, early puberty, increased risk of cancer, depression in teenage girls, and obesity. A report from The President’s Cancer Panel in 2010 identified more than 130 studies that have linked BPA to breast cancer, obesity, and other health disorders.
What is BPA? Bisphenol a (BPA), a synthetic estrogen used to harden polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resin, is the focus of a growing number of research studies and legislative actions. An estimated 6 billion pounds of BPA are produced globally annually, generating about $6 billion in sales. It is fabricated into thousands of products made of hard, clear polycarbonate plastics and tough epoxy resins, including safety equipment, eyeglasses, computer and cell phone casings, water and beverage bottles and epoxy paint and coatings. However, BPA-based plastics breakdown readily, particularly when heated or washed with strong detergent.
Trace BPA exposure has been shown to disrupt the endocrine system and trigger a wide variety of disorders, including chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, diabetes II, early puberty and obesity.
This study comes just days after another study found that exposing plastic bottles in general to boiling water can release BPA 55 times faster than normal.
May 2011: Lower weight at birth and breathing problems among infants are negative effects linked to fetal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), according to two studies.
Lower infant weight: Scientists found the greatest lower weight development noticed in offspring of mothers directly exposed to BPA in the workplace during pregnancy. Then, followed by those infants whose mothers were exposed to the substance via husbands who had high workplace exposure registering the next pronounced weight loss according to Kaiser Permanente Research.
Wheezing: Another study found children of women exposed to bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy – particularly during the first trimester – may have a higher risk of wheezing in early life, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver, CO last week.
The study of 367 pairs of mothers and infants examined the possible relationship between prenatal BPA exposure and the breathing problem for infants. Levels of the chemical were measured in the urine of pregnant women at 16 weeks, 26 weeks and at birth. Some 99 per cent of women had detectable levels of the chemical in their urine during pregnancy. Parents were asked every six months for three years whether their child suffered from wheezing.
November 2010: European Union’s executive commission announced that bisphenol-A (BPA) will be banned from baby bottles in Europe come June 2011. The commission approved the proposal to ban BPA in baby bottles, citing concerns of BPA’s ability to “Disrupt the immune system, stimulate tumor growth and interfere with proper development of young children.” The reasons for this decision are out lined in the last paragraph “2008” below.
Of course, this announcement came just after a similar measure to ban BPA in Sippy cups and baby bottles were dropped from a federal safety bill during debate in the U.S. Senate. America did not join Canada or Europe to protect our babies from BPA.
February 2010: It has been over two years ago that for the first time in the history of it’s testing, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found bisphenol A (BPA) in the umbilical cord blood of ninety percent of American babies. Nine out of ten samples tested positive for the chemical, a shocking number when considering the laundry list of chronic illnesses that are associated with BPA exposure.
Not only was BPA found in babies, but 231 other chemicals were detected as well, indicating that human beings are exposed to more toxic chemicals than ever. Experts fear that such an onslaught of toxicity may cause permanent damage to the next generation of Americans.
Studies continue to show that BPA is dangerous, even at minimal levels, and that it should not be used in consumer products. Several groups, including the Endocrine Society and the American Medical Association have expressed opposition to the use of BPA. Scientists are finding that low-dose exposure, especially during early developmental years, can actually cause more endocrine and reproductive problems than larger-dose exposure due to the way the body recognizes the chemical.
The AMA, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have all endorsed a resolution that calls on Congress to minimize or eliminate the use of BPA in consumer products. The EWG hopes that top priority will be given to the issue in light of the group’s recent discovery.
Follow these easy steps to avoid the most common exposures to BPA:
- Ban canned food and beverages from your pantry. Our most significant exposure to BPA is currently from eating canned foods and drinking canned beverages, so look for fresh, frozen, or dried options of your favorite canned goods. Or, look for products in glass jars, tetra paks, or cans that are labeled “BPA-Free.”
- Ask your dentist to use BPA-free sealants (especially on children).
- Avoid plastics marked “PC” or with a #7 in the chasing arrows recycling code typically found on the bottom of the product. This category is a catchall category for “other” plastics, so the #7 won’t always indicate polycarbonate (though the “PC” is a definitive indication). Call the manufacturer if you have questions.
- Decline thermal receipts or wash your hands after handling them.