Photo via: SFGate.
Guest blogger Sara Snow is a green lifestyle expert and board member for Discovery's 24/7 future-forward network Planet Green.
Bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA, has been long discussed in terms of its presence in plastics, especially in regards to baby bottles and water bottles.
Why the alarm? BPA has been found to mimic hormones in humans and has been classified as an endocrine disruptor. Other studies have linked the chemical to diabetes, heart disease, infertility and reproductive abnormalities, certain types of cancers, and weight gain. So far, five states and multiple municipalities have banned or restricted the presence of BPA in baby products and a stroll down the aisles at any baby store reflects this. Labels reading BPA-free are everywhere from bottles to sippy cups to toys.
But last week we learned that all of us, young and old, may be consuming BPA routinely in our everyday foods.
A study was conducted by a coalition of consumer and food safety groups. It found detectable levels of BPA in the foods of 46 out of 50 canned food products tested. The study indicates that BPA is leaching from the lining of these cans into the foods that we are eating.
Here are 5 ways you can avoid BPA exposure every day:
1. Buy food in jars where you would typically buy cans. Look for stewed tomatoes, beans and soups in glass jars instead of cans. You might be surprised at how easy it is to find these today.
2. Buy more fresh foods and rely on those instead of ones that have been preserved for you. When foods are in season, stock up and freeze these for later use. Tomatoes, green beans and fresh fruits are perfect.
3. Look for BPA-free cans but beware that even these are not foolproof. Some progressive companies like Eden foods and Vital Choice have started moving towards healthier can linings, but even these contained small amounts of BPA in the foods when tested. (It's likely that the chemical entered the cans through other means - the factory or another environmental source.)
4. Avoid Polycarbonate plastics for warm foods or liquids. These plastic containers should be marked with a number 7 on the bottom or the letters "PC". When packing up leftovers, look for plastics labeled #1, #2 or #4 as these are generally healthier and don't contain BPA.
5. If you're feeding your infant baby formula, opt for a powdered formula rather than a liquid where BPA-lined cans and lids are likely to pose more of a risk.
More on BPA:
BPA Danger May Be Greater From Tin Cans Than Water Bottles
Canada Calls Bisphenol A "Dangerous"
Wal-Mart Dumps BPA Bottles
7 Companies You Can Trust to Use BPA-Free Cans
Consumer Reports Confirms Bisphenol A Leaches From Tin Cans
Drink Soda Pop? You're Drinking Bisphenol A
Bisphenol A Makes Girls Mean
FDA Says BPA Safe for Babies
The New Yorker on Bisphenol A: How Bad Is It?