You’ve likely heard about the negative health effects associated with Bisphenol-A, commonly known as BPA. Did you also know that you can find it practically everywhere? So, how do you limit exposure to this harmful chemical? Keep reading for our tips on how to avoid BPA on a daily basis!
But First, What is BPA Exactly?
BPA is a chemical that is often used in plastic food containers. Most food can coatings also contain BPA to keep the metal from rusting.
This chemical is an endocrine disruptor which interferes with bodily functions. Research also shows that BPA can mimic and behave like the hormone estrogen.
Because of their similar structures, “BPA can bind to estrogen receptors and influence bodily processes.”1 These processes include “growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy levels, and reproduction.”2
Why You Should Consider Avoiding It
While low levels of BPA is deemed safe according to the FDA3, there are many studies that suggest continuous exposure can be hazardous to health.
According to Medical News Today, BPA “interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function, and elimination of natural hormones.” Exposure to the chemical has also been linked to diabetes and heart disease in adults4.
Another study by Cincinnati Cancer Center researchers found that BPA exposure could be a marker for prostate cancer. In addition to limiting exposure to BPA to minimize risk, try these 7 foods to boost prostate health as well.
According to the Pediatric Environment Health Specialist Unit, developing fetuses exposed to BPA also have an increased risk for obesity and diabetes, heart disease, and changes in liver function. Additionally, researchers at Yale School of Medicine suggest that exposure in the womb can increase the child’s chances of breast cancer5.
How to Avoid BPA and Reduce Your Exposure
With these potential health risks in mind, there’s no harm in reducing your exposure to this chemical. Here are a few tips on how to avoid BPA on a day-to-day basis:
Avoid canned foods
As mentioned, the coatings or linings for most canned foods contain BPA. It can also line bottle caps and canned beverages.
If you’re wondering how to avoid BPA, avoid buying canned foods and beverages. Opt for tetra packs or glass jars instead. You can also look for BPA-free labels if you absolutely cannot avoid the canned variety.
Don’t microwave plastic containers
BPA is primarily used to strengthen and lighten plastic materials. It’s also used to make them heat-resistant.
Typically, hard and clear food containers may contain BPA. When you microwave these containers, BPA may leak into the food, which your body then absorbs.
This can also include the plastic food trays of prepared frozen meals.
Store food and beverages wisely
Instead of storing food and beverages in plastic containers, choose ones made of glass, wood, stainless steel, or ceramic.
If you can’t bear to part with your Tupperware, note that the release of BPA is also sped up by interactions with acid or fats. That’s why it’s best to avoid storing fatty foods like fish, or acidic beverages like orange juice in plastic containers.
Scratched or damaged plastic containers could also leak BPA into food, so don’t wait to recycle them!
Opt for safer plastics
Plastic use may be unavoidable at times. In that case, opt for plastics that are safer. Avoid #3 and #7 plastics as they contain BPA. Choose #2, #4, and #5 plastics instead.
Skip the receipt when possible
Thermal paper used for receipts contains BPA which can also be absorbed through your skin. This is why it’s best to limit your contact with them as much as possible. Don’t crumple receipts as well since this will release even more BPA.
Airplane or movie tickets also typically contain BPA. So, when possible, opt for a digital copy—you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too!
Try these reusable BPA-free water bottle brands
You’ve likely heard the cautions of reusing plastic water bottles. This is because BPA could leach into the water, especially if the bottle is exposed to heat or reused time and time again.
BPA is found in a majority of plastic products. However, minimizing your exposure isn’t impossible. With a few adjustments, it’s possible to avoid its adverse effects on health.
Remember, while limiting your exposure to BPA is imperative to good health, your overall lifestyle choices are important too! Check out these 7 ways to have a healthier and longer life. Be sure to also follow these tips to create a healthy lifestyle!