Consider for a moment how many times during an average day we come in contact with plastic.
It is used to in containers to hold our cold and hot beverages, it is used to store our hot and cold foods, many consumer goods and pretty much most of what we touch or expose ourselves daily to is made from plastic and it is harming our health.
The manufacturing process of many of these plastics includes the use of a popular industrial chemical called BPA (Bisphenol A). Recent animal trial in the Journal of Biomedical Research shows that low dosages of BPA were found to result in significantly lower sperm counts and reduce the production of important sex hormones (such as FSH) in the adult male rats.
This is only one of many studies which illustrate the negative impact this chemical has on our male reproductive health. Our exposure to BPA is so wide spread that in a recent study, it is estimated that 93% of American’s have detectable levels of BPA in their bodies.
Fortunately, there are a number simple to follow steps which can reduce your exposure to BPA and its negative effects.
History of BPA:
In the early 1930’s BPA was recognized as an artificial estrogen and was used as a synthetic estrogen drug in woman and animals until it was banned due to the risk of causing cancer. Today it is still widely used to make many plastics such as those used in water bottles, sports equipment, food, and beverage containers and hybrid paper products.
The Dangers of BPA:
BPA is an endocrine disrupter and has the ability to mimic the effects of natural estrogen and has been shown to cause negative health effects in animal studies. BPA exposure has even been linked to obesity and weight gain as it has been shown to alter glucose and lipid metabolism.
A study of men who were exposed to BPA because they worked in a chemical plant for at least six months had lower levels of testosterone. Previous studies also conducted on Chinese factory workers have also suggested that BPA may lower sperm count and well as increase the risk of sexual dysfunction in men.
Minimize Your Risk Of BPA:
The obvious is to reduce your exposure to as many plastics as possible. As a general rule avoid all plastics with resin code #3 or #7. Plastic containers and bottles are generally marked with a “resin code” found on the bottle of the bottle or container – It is a recycle logo with a number inside it.
Since many reusable water bottles are made of polycarbonate plastic that leaches BPA into the water, avoid them at all costs.
Here are some tips to follow:
Do not microwave any plastic food containers
Heating plastic can result in the chemicals leaching into the food and drink we use. When using a microwave, always use heat resistant glass or ceramic – not plastic. The label “microwave safe” means safety for the container – not your health.
Minimize the use of canned foods and canned drinks
BPA can be found in the lacquer lining of metal cans used in canned foods. Alternatively, choose fresh or frozen foods or glass containers or bottles.
Do not take Receipts:
BPA exists in many everyday items including thermal paper commonly used in the U.S. and used by cash register receipts. Always wash your hands after handling receipts.
By being vigilant and careful or the products we use we can limit the harmful effects of BPA.