BPA exposure.

According to the Environmental Working Group, ''trace BPA exposure has been shown (in laboratory tests) 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, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy.''

There have been found detectable levels of BPA in the urine of 93 percent of Americans over the age of six. But to this day, there is no U.S. regulation on BPA contamination of food. Several companies and manufacturers have voluntarily discontinued sales of BPA-based plastics and food containers. But unfortunately, there are many companies that still put out products containing BPA. 

How can one avoid this endocrine disruptor?

1- Avoid canned foods: most tin cans are lined with an epoxy that contains BPA. That includes cans of beans, soups, vegetables, meats, milk, cream, fruits, pie fillings, dog/cat food, chopped/strained tomatoes... and soda. A better choice is to buy the real fresh produce, fruit, dairy and meat. If you must buy packaged, opt for glass, Tetra-Pak versions of the same food, or the frozen version. A few companies, such as Eden Foods, put out BPA-free cans. But because the FDA has not yet approved any other type of liner for canned tomatoes other than the BPA epoxy, all canned tomatoes (including Eden) do contain BPA. As for soda... isn't water  better choice? But if you must have it, they do still make them in glass bottles.

2- Avoid plastic bottles and containers that have the number 3, 6 and 7 on them:
  • Number 3 (polyvinyl chloride) include many cooking-oil bottles, detergents, shampoo and mouthwash bottles, take-out containers, and plastic wrap. 
  • Number 6 (polystyrene) is found in yogurt containers, take-out containers, and styrofoam products such as meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out soda containers, disposable plates and coffee cups. 
  • Number 7 (polystyrene) is present in hard plastic bottles, such as Nalgene bottles, rigid plastic baby bottles and sippy cups. . They are made of polycarbonate plastic, which leaches into the foods/fluids that they hold. Choose Nalgene and baby bottles that state ''BPA-free'' in the packaging. Shatter-resistant-glass baby bottles, and stainless-steel water bottles are also good choices. 
If you must choose plastic, opt for the ones that are safer: 1, 2, 4 and 5. Better yet, opt for glass bottles, cloth or paper bags, and/or stainless-steel containers. A note on plastic #6: it does not contain BPA, but it does contain polystyrene, which is just as toxic (it is also present in second-hand smoke). 

3- Avoid aluminum bottles such as Sigg bottles: they were, until recently, lined with BPA. After BPA was discovered in their bottles, Sigg put out bottles with another kind of lining, which they say is safe- but then again they also still maintain that their old BPA lining is safe as well. A good option is a stainless steel bottle, which has no lining whatsoever.

4- Many receipts nowadays are printed in paper which contains BPA. Since it is hard to know exactly which stores put out receipts which contain BPA, it is best to not let your children handle the receipts; and when you get home, wash your hands. 

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