BPA: A Chemical Threat in Every Day Life

Does “ignorance is bliss” really resonate with society? Not if you value your health…and the health of your children.

With ever-more research being conducted, the evidence is undeniable: BPA runs chemical interference with the human body. Developed in the 1930’s as an estrogen-replacement therapy, bisphenol A has gone through an ebb and flow of support. However, a growing number of health advocates are doing the research and calling foul.

The Studies Stack Up

A report by the Breast Cancer Fund, an advocacy group, cites 60 animal and human studies in which prenatal BPA exposure was linked to serious health problems from breast and prostate cancer to decreased fertility, and even immune or neurological problems. In fact, the American Medical Association labeled BPA an “endocrine-disrupting agent” in 2011 because of evidence that it disrupts the body’s natural hormonal regulation.

Let’s start at the beginning: does it effect life growing inside the womb? Doctors, scientists, and researchers are concerned that exposure to BPA could absolutely change the way that a developing fetus reacts to estrogen for the rest of its life.

A September report from the Breast Cancer Fund found that babies are in fact exposed to BPA in the womb. Tufts University researchers say it’s possible that prenatal BPA exposure can make fetuses more sensitive to estrogen, the hormone that spurs the growth of most breast cancers. This exposure could indirectly increase the risk of breast cancer in girls, and even prostate cancer in boys, later in life. A separate report, done jointly by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, notes the issue of prenatal exposure to toxins, from BPA to pesticides. Their findings were that the chemicals have even been linked to miscarriage and stillbirth, impaired fetal growth, thyroid problems, and childhood cancers.

The Unsuspected Suspects

Bisphenol A is a man-made chemical compound that is used for consumer goods such as sporting equipment, DVDs, water bottles and the inside lining of canned goods. It doesn’t have a gaseous odor, it doesn’t look like green sludge— the stereotypical features of a toxic chemical. But it’s there, and it’s dangerous.

Cutting Out the Culprit

As concern and awareness have grown, manufacturers have been influenced enough to remove it from baby bottles and infant formula packaging. (Especially after the FDA expressed “some concern” about the potential effects of BPA on children.) Certain popular canned soup brands announced last year that they will “phase out BPA” but have yet to announce when it will happen.

When it comes to food, look for items stored in jars or boxes (like a jar of marinara sauce, or a box of broth) instead of canned. Also shop for frozen veggies instead of canned. (Frozen while at their peak of freshness and containing no preservatives, frozen vegetables are the yummier option anyway!)

Here at UNI KEY, we take great pride that none of our packaging includes BPA. (Not every company can say that— ask them!)

Feel concerned? Me too! Want to put your foot down against use of dangerous chemicals in the products we buy? Me too! There are petitions to sign and movements to join, so let’s get busy! One really great source for challenging a variety of toxic issues is the Environmental Working Group’s Take Action page.

*Find links to the mentioned groups throughout the article, as well.

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