One more to avoid: BPA
Hi everyone! It feels so great to be back and posting again.
As you know, this past weekend I hiked part of the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. At the risk of being long winded, I’ll sum up my trip in three words: Oh. My. God. It was gorgeous, yes, but the “OMG” refers to the fact that I endured three full days of intense mental and physical challenges. It was one of those rare life experiences where you come out the other end (alive!) and are forever changed. I can 1000% say that I have the utmost respect for myself, my perseverance, and for my body which kept chugging along after three 12 hours of intense hiking.
But now I’m back. I’m limping, I have a nasty cut on my leg, a large black and blue mark on my butt that is more black than blue, but needless to say, I’m back. And I couldn’t be happier.
I checked Facebook when I returned home and saw that a friend had posted an article about how Sigg waterbottles (of which I own many), previous to August 2008, used BPA in their aluminum water bottle lining. Most of us have heard that BPA is a bad for us and a is no-no, and have seen that most plastic companies are touting the fact that they don’t use BPA. But I didn’t exactly know what BPA is and WHY it so bad for you. So I’ve decided to take a closer look.
What exactly is BPA? It stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical that is found often in #7 plastic water bottles (but not all) and a wide variety of plastic consumer products. BPA is the main component of polycarbonate, the hard, clear plastic that is used to make products like baby bottles, food storage containers and even contact lenses, among many other products you wouldn’t even think of. It can also found in tin cans.
In 2005, many studies were published that indicated that BPA was indeed toxic, and that women who had frequent miscarriages had upwards of three times the amount of BPA in their blood levels than did women with healthy pregnancies. BPA has been linked to health problems such as breast cancer, early puberty, hormone trouble, low sperm count, depression, IQ reduction, and as I mentioned, reproductive health problems (even infertility). Most recently, BPA was found to interfere with chemotherapy treatment of cancer patients.
Here’s the kicker, though. The Food and Drug Administration says that BPA is SAFE for you. As many of the studies have been done with rats and not humans, they are not yet claiming that BPA has the same effects on humans. Quite honestly, I’m not so trustworthy of the FDA, and I’m going to go out on a limb and just say NO to BPA. Even large companies such as Walmart, Toys-R-Us, Playtex, and Nalgene have stopped using plastics with BPA in them.
*Look for BPA-free labels on packaging.
*If using baby bottles, use glass bottles or those made of #5 plastic (Remember not to use #7). Examples of safe bottles include those from ThinkBaby, Born Free, and Green to Grow
*Only buy canned foods from companies that use BPA-free cans, such as those from Eden Organic Foods. It’s better to buy food in GLASS jars (think tomato sauce, salsa, etc) instead of cans
*Buy tuna or salmon in pouches, not cans
*Buy frozen fruits or veggies in pouches instead of canned
*Buy soda in plastic or glass bottles, not cans! However, did you know that the caps on the plastic bottles can contain BPA? It’s everywhere!
*Choose BPA-free reusable water bottle, such as Nalgene, Camelbak or the new Siggs (with a whitish lining)