Sunday, January 17, 2010

BPA: Canada knows, is the U.S. catching on?

The plastic additive bisphenol-A-- BPA--  has been banned from children's products in Canada, but it's gotten a pass in the U.S.-- until Friday, January 16, when the Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it had “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children,” and would join other federal health agencies in studying the chemical in both animals and humans. New York Times.

BPA can be found in hard plastic bottles, babies' sipping cups, dental fillings and sealants, and as coatings on the inside of virtually all soda and food cans.

BPA is also considered an endocrine disruptor, which means it could affect our health in many different ways.  Recently it's been implicated in making us fat!  See Newsweek.

So what can you do to avoid BPA given its ubiquitous nature?
  • Know what PBA products look like-- usually hard and clear.
  • Avoid No.7 plastic containers.
  • Give up plastic containers entirely and use glass covered bowls or Chinese take-out food  containers.
  • Use aluminum foil instead of plastic wrap (you can often clean and re-use aluminum foil).
  • Avoid canned foods, especially canned soup and pasta.  Rinsing canned vegetables and fruit may help.
  • Give up plastic water bottles and use stainless steel containers instead (some metal containers are lined with PBA).
  • Use powdered baby formula instead of canned.
  • Be careful microwaving  in plastic!  Pyrex containers are PBA-free; know what you're getting.

Photo from poolie's photostream at Flickr.

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