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More on BPA or Bisphenol-A.

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 25-11-2008

Here is more information on eliminating what appears to be the worst plastic in your drawer: BPA or Bisphenol-A.

BPA is a chemical compound used to make polycarbonate plastic. BPA has been linked to cancer, infertility, obesity, and diabetes. In animal studies, BPA has been found to cause the early onset of puberty and stimulate mammary gland development in females (Richter et al., (2007) Reprod. Tox, Vol 24(2) p. 199).

Common items containing BPA are plastic food containers, reusable water bottles, baby bottles, and the linings of canned foods. These are usually marked with plastic number “7”. The “7” identifies “other” plastics including all BPA-based items.

How can you reduce exposure to BPA without overly inconveniencing your family life?

1) Avoid microwaving plastic containers, which may cause BPA to break down and leach out more.

2) Avoid washing plastic containers in the dishwasher or with harsh detergents, which can also cause BPA to break down and leach out more. Hand wash them instead with a mild detergent.

3) Switch to BPA-free plastic baby bottles, sippy cups, and water bottles. Look for plastics marked “1” containing Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE) which is considered safe.

4) Use wax paper instead of plastic wrap, especially when microwaving. If you must use plastic wrap,look for brands that are BPA-free such as Ziploc, Glad and Saran.

To learn more about BPA and plastics:

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/300/11/1353

http://www.enviroblog.org/2008/03/bpa-questions-answered.htm

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/hiddendangers/a/0108_env_chmcls.htm

Thanks to the French American International School in San Francisco for this information and links.

We’ve been working on trying to throw out as much plastic as we can. We just got this set of Pyrex storage bowls – $29.95 at Amazon to replace all those old tupperware style plastic containers since microwaving and heating plastics appears to be the worst thing you can do. We still have not figured out how to send food to school with our four-year-old since glass will break and everything else will likely get lost within a week. Plastic is disposable and low cost, difficult benefits to give up.