An article entitled “BPA contaminants found in most Canadians” posted by CBC News today reminds me of my goal to find and replace as many sources of bisphenol A (BPA) from our home as possible before we become pregnant.
The study found that about 91 per cent of Canadians have detectable levels of BPA in their blood. The concentrations were higher in teens and children aged 6 to 11 than they were for adults aged 40 to 79.
Bisphenol A is an industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic resins, epoxy resins, and other products. It’s used in various types of food and drink containers such as water bottles, baby bottles and in linings for canned goods and metal lids. It’s also found in cash register receipts, electronics and hundreds of other household items, although my main concern is the sources that can leach BPA into my food!
Dozens of animal studies have shown that exposure to bisphenol A can harm reproductive and nervous systems and possibly promote cancers. A new study showed that mice exposed to BPA during pregnancy led to epigenetic changes that might cause permanent reproductive problems for female offspring. Since I don’t feel comfortable waiting until there are conclusive studies on the negative affects of BPA on fertility and reproductive health in humans, I’m going to do my best to remove this and other man-made chemicals from our home to improve our chances of conceiving naturally and having a healthy baby.
Thankfully, in 2008, Canada became the first country in the world to ban the import and sale of BPA containing baby bottles but unfortunately it is still being used in other plastics and liners in food and beverage cans. Rick Smith, the executive director of Environmental Defence, said it’s only a matter of time before bisphenol A is banned in all products sold in Canada. Until then…
- Replacing all our plastic food storage containers with glass alternatives (especially the ones that hold hot foods and liquids)
- Avoiding plastic containers with the No. 7 recycling label – they’re made with BPA
- Reducing our use of canned foods and sourcing out companies that make BPA-free cans for those convenient pantry items
- Replacing plastic kitchen utensils with stainless steel
- Using glass or stainless steel water bottles
- Handling minimal amounts of cash register receipts
- Choose baby bottles and spill-proof cups made of glass or stainless steel. If you must purchase plastic look for polypropylene (#5) instead of polycarbonate (#7).
- Breastfeed your baby. (If that’s not possible for whatever reason, avoid using infant formula in cans that use bisphenol A as an epoxy liner.)
- Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Instead use glass containers.
- Use stainless steel cutlery instead of plastic.
- At work, avoid the five-gallon polycarbonate plastic water jugs and instead bring your own filtered tap water.
- If you continue to use polycarbonate bottles, do not use harsh detergents or put bottles/containers in the dishwasher. These factors help to degrade the plastic and break-down the bonds to release BPA. Instead, clean polycarbonate with warm soapy water and a sponge.