If you haven’t heard of BPA (bisphenol A) yet, listen up, because it’s a chemical that could wreak all kinds of chaos in you and your family’s bodies. You are exposed to this chemical on a daily basis, and it is found in various objects made with specific polycarbonate plastics, including your kid’s baby bottles, canned foods, plastic water bottles, plastic toys, CDs, and thermal paper, like those used in seemingly harmless receipts from the grocery store.
According to the National Capital Poison Center, studies have shown that BPA is linked to different health issues.
What BPA Does to Your Body
Since BPA is chemically comparable to the estrogen hormone, it is considered as an “endocrine disruptor”, explains atop endocrinology expert in Provo. It could interfere with the natural hormonal system of your body and might be particularly hazardous to development related to the reproductive system, such as fertility and puberty, as well as estrogen-linked cancers in the prostate and breast. Babies, younger kids, and developing fetuses are most vulnerable to BPA exposure.
Exposure to BPA is mainly through drinking liquids and eating food inside containers that have BPA in them as it could leach from the container and seep into what you’re consuming. Studies have found that exposure is increased with heated liquids or scratched containers. Your body readily absorbs BPA once ingested, but fortunately, your liver could metabolize it quickly, such that it would be eliminated from your body in 24 hours if you had one incident of BPA exposure. With repeated exposure, however, BPA would accumulate in your body and could potentially cause the health problems mentioned earlier.
What to Do about BPA
BPA might be everywhere, but you could make some simple changes to limit your exposure to it as much possible. The occasional eating and drinking from plastic containers is no reason to have a full-blown panic attack, but whenever you can, swap them for BPA-free plastic containers, or opt for alternatives such as stainless steel, porcelain, or glass. Also, a healthy diet almost always never comes packaged in containers with BPA, so fresh foods is the way to go.