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10 Simple ways to reduce your exposure to BPA

Plastic pollution isn’t just bad news for the environment, it’s bad news for your health too. Here we take a closer look at simple ways to protect your health by reducing your exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) – a chemical commonly found in plastics and resins that can have damaging effects on health.

What is Bisphenol A (BPA)?

Bisphenol A is an industrial chemical that has been produced in large quantities since the 1960s. It is used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.

BPA is commonly referred to as an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) which means it interferes with the way hormones work in the body. Many other damaging effects of BPA have been hypothesised or identified too. Research into these potential adverse effects is gathering momentum; a current search for ‘bisphenol A’ on Pubmed delivers a staggering 13,494 results! And even just a quick scan down the first page highlights how damaging this chemical can be.

Where is BPA found?

BPA is found in food and drink storage containers, in epoxy resins which coat the insides of food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines, in feminine sanitary products, in some dental sealants and composites, and even in the thermal paper that is used for many till receipts.

BPA can leach into foods and drinks, and can even be absorbed through the skin, so the best way to protect yourself is to remove it from your environment as much as possible.

“What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while”

I frequently borrow this lovely quote from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. I constantly refer back to it myself, and frequently pass it on to clients. It’s particularly useful for considering the impact of seemingly small lifestyle changes.

Think about just one simple change like swapping a plastic lunchbox for a glass one.

If you take your lunch to work 5 days a week / 46 weeks a year, that will add up to around 230 times less exposure to BPA.

And that’s just one change.

With that in mind, here’s 10 simple changes to get you started…

10 Simple ways to reduce your exposure to BPA

Lunchbox / Food storage - Swap your plastic lunchbox / food storage containers for glass, ceramic or stainless steel

Water bottle - Swap plastic water bottles for glass or stainless steel

Heating food - Never heat food in a plastic container, and especially not in a microwave. Heating food in plastic seems to increase the amount that leaches into food

Food wrap - Avoid cling film; use safer reusable natural food wraps such as organic cotton / beeswax instead

Sanitary products - Choose plastic-free feminine hygiene products

Milk - Get milk delivered in glass bottles from your local dairy farmer instead of buying the plastic containers from the supermarket

Till receipts - Say no to till receipts and opt for an email version instead where possible

Canned food – Cans often contain a plastic lining which can leach into food. Avoid canned food where possible and choose fresh instead

Fatty, salty or acidic food - Be especially careful with storage / heating of fatty, salty or acidic food or drink as plastic particles seem to migrate more easily into these

Decant food - Follow the lead of internationally renowned detoxification expert Dr Joseph Pizzorno and decant any foods / drinks that are only available in plastic packaging into glass storage containers when you arrive home

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