Throw out your water bottles! Don’t put Tupperware in the microwave! Why all the exclamations? BPA.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, has been all over the news as something to avoid. And more bad news: It’s basically everywhere.
BPA is a manmade chemical used in many rigid plastics, the lining of food cans, cashier receipts, and other common products since the 1960s. This harmful chemical is in the process of being phased out because it’s been determined to be a “hormone disruptor,” which means it can affect how natural hormones, such as estrogen, behave in the body.
Since eliminating BPA is a process, and a wave of studies tells us now more than ever to stay away, it may be worth the extra effort to avoid BPA. But how are we supposed to keep ourselves and our families BPA-free when it’s so hard to escape?
When it comes to prevention, it’s best to follow the Precautionary Principle: If something may have some BPA in it, it’s better to be safe (and avoid it!) than sorry.
To learn more about BPA, check out our article that breaks it all down. Also try following these steps to help lower your everyday exposure.
- Use glass. Instead of plastic, drink from a real glass. Buy food and drinks in glass jars. Reuse your jars for food storage and for transporting your beverages.
- Steer clear of canned and plastic-packaged foods by eating and cooking more fresh foods (hello, farmers’ market!) or buying only those sold in glass containers.
- Wash your hands after handling receipts. New research shows BPA can enter our blood through skin contact. If you handle a lot of receipts, wear protective (non-allergenic, non-vinyl) gloves.
- Summer is around the corner and this may sound silly, but don’t drink from garden hoses. Chemicals in the materials hoses are made of can leach out into your hands and into the water flowing through them. Store your hose in the shade to prevent leaching, or buy a low-hazard rubber one.
- If you need dental work, ask your dentist about alternatives to white composite resin or other BPA-based materials. Most of all, take good care of your and your children’s teeth by brushing and flossing regularly.