A Healthy You: Avoiding Bisphenol-A
BPA is the building block of polycarbonate plastic. It makes them hard, translucent and shatter resistant. Polycarbonate plastic usually has the recycling number 7 on it. It is also found in the white resin lining of some canned foods. BPA is an unstable compound that can leach into food and beverages. About 90 percent of Americans have traces of BPA in our urine, mainly as a result of food and beverage packaging.
Some researchers say that ingesting this chemical can interfere with the development of reproductive and nervous system in babies and young children. BPA may also act like estrogen and stimulate human breast cells just like real estrogen.
For men, it may increase the size of the prostate and reduce sperm production. It may also promote increased fat deposits in the body and increase the tendency towards obesity. The federal government is spending $30 million on its own studies assessing the chemical’s health effects on humans.
Ways to avoid BPA:
- Avoid plastic baby bottles; use glass instead
- Minimize your intake of canned foods or look for canned goods that state BPA free lining
- Minimize drinking out of plastic water bottles or use BPA free water bottles. Glass and stainless bottles are also good
- Do not heat food in plastic containers or do not use plastic cling wrap in microwave
- Avoid using plastic containers with recycling number 7
- Do not use plastic dishes or cutlery
A Healthy You is a regular column about nutrition, healthy living and cancer care. It is written by Cindy Gates, RD and LD and the Cancer Center’s Oncology dietitian, herbalist and Certified Wellness Coach.