If you're worried about being exposed to (Bisphenol A) BPA in food, there are some simple things you can do to reduce your exposure. A recent study finds that avoiding plastic packaging or canned foods might be a smart way to reduce the levels of this troublesome chemical in your own body. Only 3 days of consuming freshly prepared or organically grown foods brought levels down by 66%.
Bisphenol A has gotten quite a lot of media attention and is present in many types of plastic packaging, some water bottles, sealing wrap and containers used for food storage. It lines the inside of most canned foods.
BPA is known to disrupt the endocrine system and is tied to lots of health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, infertility, even ADHD in children.
Canada sponsored BPA from baby bottles back in 2008, and in that same year research was publicized that showed adults who had the greatest BPA levels also had more than two times the risk of diabetes as those with the lowest BPA levels. Still the work only points out an association, it can not say that the BPA is directly causing any health issue.
In America we are seeing more BPA free packaging. Some states have limited BPA, others have outright banned its use in food in drink containers intended for use by children.
The FDA is continuing to review the issue and the US NIH plans to spend $ 30 million to study the chemical for safety. In the meantime, some of the worlds largest food makers are working to find packaging alternatives.
This research offers some strong evidence that the packaging of foods is a major, although probably not the only, source of exposure to BPA, as well as another chemical, a phthalate called DEHP.
The 20 subjects were taken from five San Francisco area families based on their answers to queries about how frequently they drank from plastic bottles or a water cooler, ate canned food or at restaurants, or microwaved in the plastic container. All of these habits are known to give exposure to both BPA and pthalates.
Phthalates are the chemicals that make plastic strong and clear.
The subjects provided urine samples before, during and at the conclusion of the study. This cave the researchers the ability to check BPA, and other chemical levels.
For a three-day period a caterer trained to prepare food without exposing it to chemicals delivered meals to the participants. No plastic utensils were used; foods were cooked on regular (not nonstick) cookware and kept in glass containers with plastic lids free of BPA. Even then, the researchers designed the cooks not to allow the food to touch the lids.
The meals were made from fresh fruits, veggies, grains and meats. Microwaving using plastic was forbidden as was using a coffee maker with any plastic parts. Coffee lovers got their morning beverage from ceramic drip models or French presses. Water came in stainless steel bottles, not plastic. Eating out was banned as many restaurant meals have also been found to have high levels of BPA.
By study of end, the urine samples showed the BPA level dropped from 3.7 ng / mL to 1.2 ng / mL The amount of DEHP decreased by almost half, starting at 57 ng / mL, ending at 25 ng / mL. Those who showed the greatest levels of BPA at the start of the study saw the largest drops – 76% for BPA levels and 95% for DEHP.
Knowing more about the ways we're exposed to chemicals can help us all limit that exposure if we choose. The changes are not all that difficult … and the removal of these chemicals from the body takes place rather quickly. You can achieve this by changing the way you shop, the way you cook and store foods.
The best advice when it comes to BPA in food, or any chemical, for that matter, is to reduce exposure where you can. So do not heat food in plastic or cover food items tightly in plastic wrap … but enjoy a meal out if you like.