Bisphenol A often called BPA is a widely discussed chemical that has been causing concern and even alarm since the 1990s. The worries focus on the ability of the BPA molecule to trigger hormone pathways in the body.
So the popular press has used the word, “gender bender” to describe some of the effects of BPA and the scientific press describes it as an “Endocrine disruptor” and of materials with BPA having “EA” – that is of having “Endocrine activity”.
What all this boils down to is that BPA mimics both the structure and function of estrodiol which is a hormone of crucial importance to both men and women.
If estrodiol levels in your blood are too high then you are at increased risk for atherosclerosis and stroke so chemicals in the body that can mimic estrodiol are deeply unwelcome because they can pose a serious health risk.
In addition the widespread presence of BPA may be responsible for the widely noticed drop in sperm count that has been seen all round the world.
The Frustration of Infertility
Infertility is a growing problem and leads to so much sorrow and disappointment.
Studies have also shown that over 90% of us have BPA present in our urine and even that new-born babies have measurable levels. This latter concern shows why Governments around the world have banned BPA from baby bottles even though they have continued to allow the chemical industry to use bisphenols for many other applications and products.
There are many varieties of the bisphenol molecule. We discuss BPA but this page http://is.gd/tiHdxC on the Wiki shows variations such as bisphenol B, C, E, F, G…all the way to Bisphenol Z!
The reason I mention all these kinds of bisphenol is that some manufacturers are marking their products “BPA free”.
And some of these products have Bisphenol S, also written as BPS, which like BPA is an endocrine disruptor and may be even worse for our health than Bisphenol A is.
Can you imagine people buying products labelled BPA free in the hope of protecting their families not having an inkling of other dangers lurking in the product?
Another example of how widespread this issue of chemical pollution by bisphenol is that BPS has been found in paper currencies of 21 countries around the world as well as in kitchen and toilet paper!
So this is not just about plastic in the kitchen, it is much wider. BPA is found in the inner lining of some Beer cans and food cans; it is found in the small receipts printed by thermal printers inside automated tills and it is in food containers and in the clear tough polycarbonate bowls and parts of juicers.
Action Steps To Reduce Bisphenol In Your Life
So what do we do?
In the modern world it is somewhere between hard and impossible to avoid all plastics so we need to follow a practical path based on likely risk.
1. Babies and children are at most risk so we prioritise the materials their possessions are made of. BPA free just does not cut it because we do not know what the materials do have!
2. Studies in which people avoided canned food and packaged food showed that the BPA levels in the blood drop dramatically when people eat at home and cook from scratch.
3. Swap material where you can. Use Pyrex rather plastic bowls and glass and not plastic food containers
4. Do not heat food in plastic containers
5. If you have a juicer or smoothie maker keep using it. The juice you are making is only in contact with the plastic for a few seconds.
6. Wash your hands after handling paper money and till receipts and check out the paper towels you may use.
7. Lobby your political leaders. People power works!
Any other points not in the list or any question you may have, please drop them in the comment section below! Thanks!