Hidden BPA

Posted: February 16, 2011 in Toxic Chemicals

Most of us, especially parents, have at some point or another heard of BPA.  Even if you don’t know what exactly BPA is, you know enough to avoid it.  Baby bottles,  sippy cups,  even adult water bottle now boast of the fact they are  “BPA FREE” with bold labels shouting out to the consumer.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is known for it’s use in the production of polycarbonate plastic.   Unfortunately this compound does a lot more than simply keep your plastic bottles together.

BPA, which mimics estrogen, has been classified as an endocrine disruptor and as a result can disrupt hormones in the body.  This in turn can cause a long list of problems  including, but not limited to,  low sperm count, reproductive disorders, early puberty, cancer,  diabetes, infertility, attention deficit disorders and the list goes on.  In September 2010, Canada became the first country to actually declare BPA as a toxic substance.

It should therefore come as no surprise that BPA should be avoided at all costs.  Unfortunately simply sticking to BPA free plastic doesn’t guarantee that you are not being exposed to this toxic chemical.   Although BPA can be found in anywhere from pizza boxes to credit card receipts, what we need to avoid the most is putting ourselves at risk of introducing this toxic chemical into our bodies.

Consumer reports conducted a study on 19 canned brand name foods (including ones that were organic) and found that almost all of the 19 tested were contaminated with BPA.   How so you ask?  Not only is BPA used in the production of plastics, but it is also used as a lining in canned foods.  That’s right, your canned veggies, fruits, tuna and even pop cans (hopefully you’re not drinking pop anymore!) may be contaminated with BPA.

Although the FDA has recently become aware of the potential harm BPA may cause, it is going to take some time for thorough studies and action on their end and so it is up to us to be proactive and protect ourselves.

I’m an advocate of eating as much fresh raw foods as possible.  The discovery of BPA in canned foods is yet another reason to ditch the cans and opt for whole fresh foods instead.  When food is preserved in a can nutrients are lost, and unfortunately replaced with preservatives.  By eating organic raw food not only will you be protecting yourself from exposure to BPA, but you are also ensuring you are getting the most nutrients out of your food.

So my dear readers, my advice for the day is stay away from BPA.  Take a look in your refrigerators and cupboards and make a plan of how you are going to take steps to be as BPA-free as can be.  If plastic is something that is difficult for you to give up, be sure to check the triangle label (usually found on the bottom of plastics), anything with a 3 or 7 most probably contains BPA.  Also,  make a commitment to start using fresh foods.   Fresh food will taste better, look better and make you feel better in the long run. Let me know how it goes 🙂

**Remember there is a cure for widespread diseases like cancer,  the best way to cure cancer is to prevent cancer as best we can.   If you like what you are reading help me spread the word by sharing my articles with your friends.  Follow me, Drug free pharmacist, on facebook**

–Hoda Elkassem, RPh, BSc Pharmacy, BSc Allied Health Sciences

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