What is BPA? What does “BPA Free” mean?
I’m sure people who came to this website have already known about BPA and what BPA does to us. So I don’t go deep into this. But for those who don’t know here’s a good documentary (45 min) about BPA (and more):
The Disappearing Male on CBC (the Canadian TV station)
What is BPA?
BPA stands for Biphenol-A and is a synthetic estrogen used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins hard to break. Sometimes it is called BADGE for BPA in epoxy lining. Also, it is an endocrine disruptor that may lead to negative health effects such as chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy, breast cancer, prostate development and cancer.
BPA is in What?
As a general rule of thumb:
- Polycarponate Plastics (#7 but not all #7 is polycarbonate plastics. Compostable plastic is #7, too – I know it’s confusing!)
- PVC (#3 flexible plastic)
- Epoxy lining of canned food
- Epoxy lining of canned sodas & beers
- Epoxy lining of glass jar lids
- Some dental sealant
- Some clear plastic utensils and cups
- Some (a lot of) cash register and ATM receipts (thermal paper) from supermarkets, restaurants, postal offices, etc.
- Lottery tickets (thermal paper)
- Toilet paper, mostly recycled kind (Wait! Don’t panic! Just keep buying toilet paper with recycled contents!)
- Recycled Paper such as napkins, toilet paper, tickets, food wrappers, newspapers, etc. (those thermal paper gets recycled together with other papers, thus they have contaminated it. ugh.)
- Clear blue water container for a water dispenser
- Plastic water bottles (not #1 PET disposable bottles – but this leaches out some other chemicals if you re-use it – I don’t go into that here)
- Baby plastic bottles and sippy cups (baby bottles and sippy cups should be BPA free by now – usually labeled as BPA Free)
- And on and on and on…
How Can I Reduce the Exposure to BPA?
- Avoid eating canned food or buy the BPA FREE CANNED FOOD
- Ask your dentist and doctor you are concerned about BPA before the treatment. They may have alternatives.
- Bring your own BPA Free utensils! I carry wooden chopsticks (I curved them myself!) all the time in case I have to eat food with disposable utensils
- Don’t put receipts in grocery bags or your purse. BPA will spread all over inside the bag. Put them in a separate pocket or a small sandwich bag (I have one pocket in my wallet just for receipts). Make sure to wash your hands and veggies & fruits before you eat or touch babies and kids.
- Use filtered water instead of ordering the water in reusable polycarbonate plastic bottles or look for alternatives.
- When you buy reusable water bottles, make sure they are BPA Free, usually labeled as BPA Free, even on stainless steel and aluminum ones. I heard Sigg bottles used to have epoxy lining.
- Baby bottles and sippy cups are usually BPA Free now. But maker sure they have the BPA Free label.
- I don’t know about Toilet paper…
There are a lot of websites that teach you how to avoid BPA. But most of them are telling you to read EWG’s article. So here it is: EWG: Tips to Avoid BPA Exposure.
Now let’s find out which companies carry BPA FREE CANNED FOOD!