BPA- its hiding in plain sight and impacting on our health.

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BPA. Its in in most of the products we use on a daily basis, its toxic, and to top it off it also in our food.
Im guessing that most people have heard of BPA- your drinks bottles may make special mention of being BPA free, or those baby bottles might assure us that there is nothing toxic in their bottles because there is no BPA in their products. But is that the whole story?

What is BPA?
BPA is short for Bisphenol A. BPA is a chemical found in hard plastic such as drink bottles, the plastic lining in tined canned, dental devices, baby bottles, DVDs and CDs, electronic equipment, sporting goods, and even the ink on store receipts. The problem is that BPA become ingested into our system when the food we eat comes into contact with it through food storage or after we have touched items with BPA such as ink.

BPA is an endocrine disruptor – a substance which interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function and elimination of natural hormones. BPA can imitate our body’s own hormones in a way that could be hazardous for health. Babies and young children are said to be especially sensitive to the effects of BPA.

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This can impact on our bodies in many ways such as:
reproductive disorders and infertility issues
Asthma
Sexual dysfunction
Higher risk of cancer
Type 2 Diabetes
Brain function

with babies being particularly susceptible particularly from breastfeeding mothers.

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However its important to note that even BPA-free is not completely safe. Often when they remove the BPA they replace it with another chemical which can be just as harmful such as
bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF) with some evidence to suggest that even small concentrations of BPS and BPF may disrupt the function of your cells in a way similar to BPA.

So can any plastic be trusted? Im inclined to say no, and would even avoid BPA free due to the undisclosed other chemicals that may be found. To be honest until we go package free, its hard to avoid plastics, particularly when everything is over packaged!.. some things i have done to avoid BPA is use glass containers to store food, carry fruit and vegetable in heshan bags and avoid plastic bag, avoid heat any food in plastic containers. I have also swapped by plastic BPA free drinking bottle for a stainless steel bottle from Klean Kanteen.
As the father of a 8 week old baby, i became concerned about the BPA i was passing onto my little one, and hence have I have also bought some glass baby bottles to swap out his BPA free plastic ones, and have bought him natural rubber dummies to prevent usage of the plastic ones.

Some other things we can do is:

Avoid packaged foods: Eat mostly fresh, whole foods.
Drink from glass bottles: Avoid plastic bottles or cans
Stay away from BPA products: As much as possible, limit your contact with receipts.
Be selective with toys: Make sure that plastic toys you buy for your child are made from BPA-free material, especially for toys your little ones are likely to chew or suck on.
Don’t microwave plastic: Microwave and store food in glass rather than plastic.

For tips on how to be plastic free, visit http://www.myplasticfreelife.com