Some petroleum-based plastics leach harmful chemicals into foods and drinks, especially when plastic comes in contact with oily or fatty foods, during heating and microwaving, as a result of harsh cleaners and very hot water (like in dishwashers), and when exposed to excessive moisture.
Unfortunately, BPA can activate estrogen receptors that lead to the same effects as the body’s own estrogens. Some hormone disrupting effects in studies on animals and human cancer cells have been shown to occur at levels as low as 2-5 parts per billion. These health problems include lowered sperm count and infertile sperm in men, and exposure during development has been proven to have carcinogenic effects and produce precursors of breast cancer. BPA has been shown to have induced developmental toxicity, carcinogenic effects, and possible neurotoxicity.
BPA has been found at elevated levels in women with a history of miscarriage. In lab animals, it has been shown to increase the risk of developing breast cancer; causes aberrations in the chromosomes of grandchildren of rats exposed during pregnancy; and increases the susceptibility of male rats to prostate cancer, among other effects.
Where BPA is Commonly Found
What exactly is Bisphenol-A? It was first made in 1891, and was investigated for use as a replacement for estrogen. It is used in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics (often identified by the recycling number 7), which find service in a variety of applications, especially food and drink packaging. These include:
Common Metal Coatings – liners of food cans (6 billion pounds a year), inside lining of water pipes
Dental Fillings & Sealants – regardless of how low the exposure level may be, BPA is a toxic substance that shouldn’t be used in any consumer products. This is not the sort of chemical that we should be putting in people’s mouths, particularly those of children. BPA is, after all, the chemical that Canada declared dangerous. Why would you even consider having it place in your mouth where we know we absorb quickly via the mucous membranes? (More specific dental news in a future article about BPA in Dentistry).
Baby Bottles – the hard plastic ones.
Water Coolers and Bottles, Tableware and Food Storage Containers – when dealing with breakdown products that can leach out of materials, your best bet is to try to stay clear of items that are worn and old, especially if they have scratches. Also, heating up plastics can increase the likelihood of BPA and other compounds coming out.
The Environmental Working Group published a survey of BPA in U.S. canned foods and found BPA in over half of 97 cans of name-brand fruit, tuna, vegetables, soft drinks, and other commonly eaten canned goods.
They also found:
- Of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that caused serious adverse effects, as evidenced in animal tests.
- For 1 in 10 cans of all food tested, and 1 in 3 cans of infant formula, a single serving contained enough BPA to expose a woman or infant to BPA levels more than 200 times the government’s traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals. The government typically mandates a 1,000- to 3,000-fold margin of safety between human exposures and levels found to harm lab animals, but these servings contained levels of BPA less than 5 times lower than doses that harmed lab animals.
√ Opt for plastic alternatives – glass, ceramic that’s lead-free, and stainless steel whenever possible.
√ Use glass or ceramic containers if you must microwave food.
√ Be cautious of cling wraps, especially for microwave use. Wrap foods in butcher paper, waxed paper, or paper towels, better yet, store food in glass or ceramic.
√ Avoid using plastics that aren’t identified on the packaging.
√ Look for products that state “no phthalates” or “no bisphenol A (BPA).”
√ Wash plastic containers by hand with a mild soap, not the dishwasher.
BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic food containers often marked on the bottom with the letters “PC” recycling label #7. Not all #7 labeled products are polycarbonate but this is a reasonable guideline for a category of plastics to avoid.
Safer products and uses: When possible, it’s best to avoid #7 plastics, especially for children’s food. Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2 and #4 on the bottom are safer choices and do not contain BPA. Soft or cloudy-colored plastic does not contain BPA. Many metal water bottles are lined with a plastic coating that contains BPA. Look for stainless steel bottles that do not have a plastic liner.
This past summer, the city by the bay banned all plastic water bottles within the city limits, including those from commercial water dispensers frequently found in offices. The city fathers are doing justice to both the health of their population AND mother nature by not having to dispose of all those toxic water bottles that stay in the ground for more centuries than we care to count.
AVOID BPA at any cost, stay informed – read labels and be proactive rather than reactive, Naturally.
The Way I See It…
My research shows that all men over the age of 40 should support their prostate health with a natural supplement that will provide a comprehensive blend of minerals and standarized herbal extracts designed to support healthy prostate function. The supplement should encourage healthy testosterone-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) balance while supporting enhanced control of bladder function and targeted nutriton for bladder and prostate tissues. The professional product used with most success by my clients is BioProstate.
Uncovering Clues to Add LIFE to Your Years…NOT Merely Years to Your Life, Naturally
Dr. Gloria Gilbère (aka Dr. G), N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D., D.S.C.,
EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist
Creator of certificated courses to become a Wholistic Rejuvenist™ (CWR) and for post-graduate education for health and spa professionals. Go to www.gloriagilbere.com and click on Wholistic Skin & Body Rejuvenation (WSBR™) for course outline. Available on-site at worldwide locations, and via distance-learning at your convenience globally.
Dr. Gilbère is renowned worldwide for her work in identifying and finding natural solutions to chemically-induced and inflammatory disorders, multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Gulf War Syndrome, and digestive disorders that defy conventional diagnosis and treatment. She consults worldwide via telephone and at her Institute in north Idaho. Visit her website at www.gloriagilbere.com for details about consulting with her.
Published by Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – ©2009/2010 Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, all rights reserved.
Information in this newsletter is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by medical professionals, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease or disorder. The FDA has not reviewed or endorsed the contents of this educational publication.
Copyright is held by Gloria E. Gilbère, to which all rights are reserved. Other than personal, non-commercial use or forwarding, no material in this newsletter may be copied, distributed, or published without the expressed written permission of its author and copyright holder.
Occupational exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) and the risk of Self-Reported Male Sexual Dysfunction by D. Li1, Z. Zhou et al is published in the Human Reproduction journal