Bisephol-a (BPA) is a chemical used to make polycarbonate resin, which keeps plastic products from breaking or absorbing flavors or odors. Exposure to heat and chemical detergents can cause this chemical to leech into foods and beverages, which disrupt the body’s normal hormone functions.
While most of us are aware that BPA is found in plastics, there are many other items that may contain this potentially harmful chemical:
1. Toys: Just like food and beverage containers, hard plastic toys may contain BPA. Because many toys end up in your baby’s mouth, be sure to look for ones made from BPA-free plastic.
2. Canned food: Cans typically contain a plastic lining made with a polycarbonate resin, meaning BPA may be leeching into your canned tomatoes. Look for food packed in BPA-free cans, or use fresh vegetables and homemade sauces/soups instead.
3. Receipts: Cash register receipts were found to contain alarming levels of BPA, some with as much as 1,000 times the amount in canned food. And just touching the slick coating of a receipt is enough to transfer the chemical to your hands. If you can’t avoid touching receipts, make sure to wash your hands after handling them.
4. Soda: Because soda is typically found in aluminum cans, chances are there’s BPA in your fizzy drink. Just like food cans, soda cans contain a plastic lining that can leech into your beverage. Steer clear of soda cans, and soda in general!
5. Pizza boxes: If your large pepperoni pie came in a pizza box made from recycled materials, it may contain BPA. Thanks to BPA found in receipts, newspaper ink and various other sources, items made from recycled paper may be contaminated with this chemical.
6. Toilet paper: Other recycled paper products may contain BPA, including toilet paper!
There are alternatives, and using these products will free you from BPA exposure while fitting into your life. Keep water on hand in a BPA-free water bottle. Save money by packing your lunch in a this BPA-free lunch set (the ice packs keep it fresh). Even better, Vitacost.com carries BPA-free products for kids that lessen your child’s BPA exposure during early stages of growth and development.