Home Health BPA and you…this is a crucial read for your health

BPA and you…this is a crucial read for your health

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Cheryl A. Major is a volunteer contributor to WestfordCAT News. If you have news, email [email protected].

Bisphenol A and you…If we tested you for BPA, would you test positive?  Ninety-three percent of us would. Can you believe it — 93 percent of us. If you think that’s not important, allow me to put that into perspective.  BPA is an endocrine-disrupting industrial chemical.  In the vernacular, that means BPA messes with your hormones.  Let’s discuss what BPA does to us and who should avoid exposure to it, how BPA is used and what products contain BPA, and what to look for if you want to avoid exposure to BPA (I’ll also give you a great resource to use to find out if your favorite products contain BPA).

Who should avoid exposure to BPA?  The short answer is every living being.  That being said, the people at greatest risk when exposed are pregnant women, infants and children as BPA acts like estrogen in the body.  During one study, BPA was found in the umbilical cords of nine out of 10 infants tested.  BPA studies show it is linked to our epidemic of cancer, diabetes, obesity, infertility and brain, nervous system and cardiovascular problems and abnormalities.  Additionally, BPA exposure may cause temporary spikes in blood pressure which increases the possibility that people who already have high blood pressure may experience a heart attack.

Food packaging is the number one means of our exposure to BPA. So… what products contain BPA?  More than 16,000 products under 926 brand names contain BPA.  These products include soups, vegetables, beans, fruits, tomato products, beverages and meat and fish products. The Environmental Working Group…I LOVE them… says it’s nearly impossible to walk down an aisle in your grocery store without finding a product with BPA.

“It’s in the linings or lids of glass jars for baby food, pickles, jelly, salsa and other condiments; aerosol cans for whipped toppings and non-stick sprays; bottles and tins of cooking oil; aluminum beverage cans, coffee cans and even beer kegs,” according to the EWG. Even organic food products have packaging that contains BPA in the body, lining of the packaging or in the lids!  The problem is that BPA quickly migrates from the lining of the packaging into the actual food.

It’s nearly impossible to avoid exposure to BPA unless you are educated about it and committed to reading labels.  In this case, you’re actually looking for what’s not there.  If the package, be it can, lid or plastic bottle does not say BPA free, you’re exposing yourself to BPAs.  To make this even more complicated, some companies have replaced BPA with BPS (Bisphenol S) which is now believed to be no better than BPA…in fact, it may even be more dangerous!

It’s clear we need to avoid BPA and look for disclosures on packaging that say “BPA Free” when we buy food in cans, plastic bottles and so on.  Now here’s that great resource I mentioned earlier. It’s a list from Environmental Working Group (EWG) one of my favorite crusading organizations in the quest for better, healthier living, and it gives you both a list of companies that use BPA and those whose products are BPA free!

Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show Thin Strong Healthy airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com   Cheryl offers ongoing information and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier.  Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor.  She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.

Questions?  Email Cheryl at [email protected] and be sure to put Health Question in the subject line.  Your question and its answer will be included in a future article.