Chemicals


  • BisPhenol (BPA) acts as endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), i.e., compounds capable of causing dysfunction in hormonally regulated body systems.  Chemical routes from plastics to humans can vary have been integrated into our everyday lives. This includes our food chain, food containers like canned foods, flooring and varnishes for our houses, children's toys, cosmetics, and personal care products. 

BisPhenol (BPA)

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  •  Have you ever heard a friend use the old adage "Don't drink that water bottles thats been sitting in your hot car because that water bottle has BPA in it and that water bottle can leach that BPA into that bottle and thats not good for you?" - Well - Yeah. They were right. 

BPA stands for BisPhenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles. They may also be used in other consumer goods.

 

In 2008, the possible health risks of Bisphenol A (BPA) -- a common chemical in plastic -- made headlines. Parents were alarmed, pediatricians flooded with questions, and stores quickly sold-out of BPA-free bottles and sippy cups.

Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. Some dental sealants and composites also may contain BPA.

Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. Additional research suggests a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. This assessment is based on review of hundreds of studies.

What does BPA do to us? We still don't really know, since we don't have definitive studies of its effects in people yet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration used to say that BPA was safe. But in 2010 the agency altered its position. The FDA maintains that studies using standardized toxicity tests have shown BPA to be safe at the current low levels of human exposure. But based on other evidence -- largely from animal studies -- the FDA expressed "some concern" about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate glands in fetuses, infants, and young children..The FDA is continuing its review of BPA, including supporting ongoing research. In the meantime, if you're concerned about BPA, you can take these steps to reduce your exposure:Trying to eliminate BPA from your child's life is probably impossible. But limiting your child's exposure -- and your own -- is possible. It doesn't even have to be hard. Here are some tips on how to do it Find products that are BPA-free. It isn't as hard as it once was. Many brands of bottles, sippy cups, and other tableware prominently advertise that they are BPA-free.

  • Use BPA-free products. Manufacturers are creating more and more BPA-free products. Look for products labeled as BPA-free. If a product isn't labeled, keep in mind that some, but not all, plastics marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
  • Cut back on cans. Reduce your use of canned foods since most cans are lined with BPA-containing resin. As often as your wallet will let you, buy fresh or frozen.
  • Avoid heat. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics or putting them in the dishwasher, because the plastic may break down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods.
  • Use alternatives. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers.
  • Look for infant formula that is BPA-free. Many brands no longer contain BPA in the can. If a brand does have BPA in the lining, some experts recommend powdered formula over liquid. Liquid is more likely to absorb BPA from the lining.
  • Non-plastic containers for food. Containers made of glass, porcelain, or stainless steel do not contain BPA.
  • Do not heat plastic that could contain BPA. Never use plastic in the microwave, since heat can cause BPA to leach out. For the same reason, never pour boiling water into a plastic bottle when making formula. Hand-wash plastic bottles, cups, and plates.
  • Avoid plastics with a 3 or a 7 recycle code on the bottom. These plastics might contain BPA. Other types of numbered plastic are much less likely to have BPA in them.

Where do things stand now? Have plastic manufacturers changed their practices? How careful does a parent need to be when it comes to plastics and BPA? Here's the latest information we have about possible BPA risks.


Phthalates

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  •  Some phthalates are used as solvents (dissolving agents) for other materials. They are used in hundreds of products, such as vinyl flooring, adhesives, detergents, lubricating oils, automotive plastics, plastic clothes (raincoats), and personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, and nail polishes).

 

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