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Monday, February 11, 2008

Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics

Perhaps lately you have heard about the controversy and concern raised over BPA - which stands for Bisphenol A, an organic compound that mimics estrogen.

Organic compound? Organic is good, right? Well, not in this case. This is something totally different.

Bisphenol A has shown to cause:

-Permanent changes to genital tract
-Changes in breast tissue that predispose cells to hormones and carcinogens (meaning it could also predispose a person to breast cancer)
-30% increase in prostate mass
-signs of early puberty
-Decline in testicular testosterone
-Prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer
-Insulin resistance
-Decreased maternal behavior
-Damage to eggs and chromosomes
-Reversal of normal sex difference in brain structure

BPA is showing up in all sorts of stuff...and the latest concerns are over our plastics. Doctors and scientists are especially concerned regarding the growth of fetuses and infants. But, with almost everything being plastic in today's society, it seems like we're fighting an uphill battle with no chance of winning, right?

Don't feel discouraged...there IS a way to cut down on your use of BPA in plastics.

Here's how:

On the bottom or back of most plastics, you will find the recyclable symbol with a number printed in the center. Reference those numbers to see if you should trash your plastic, or if it's safe enough to keep.

Trash it (not safe):

1 - Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE) - Found in many soft drink, water, and salad dressing bottles; peanut butter and jam jars

3 - Polyvinyl Chloride (V) - Juice Bottles, cling films

6 - Polystyrene (PS) - Egg cartons, disposable cups, disposable plates, disposable trays, disposable cutlery, disposable take-away containers, yogurt and margarine containers

7 - Other - Beverage bottles, baby milk bottles

Keep It (okay to use - doesn't leach harmful amounts of BPA):

2 - High Density Poyethylane (HDPE) - Milk, juice, and water bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, trash and retail bags

4 - Low Density Polyethylene (LPDE) - Frozen food bags; squeezable bottles, e.g. honey, mustard; cling films; flexible container lids.

5 - Polypropylene (PP) - Reusable microwaveable ware, kitchenware, yogurt containers, margarine tubs, microwaveable disposable take-away containers, disposable cups and plates.

Want to know MORE?

ehp Environmental Health
Toxic Nation

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