The more I know about Bisphenol A, the more I realize what a truly sneaky little substance it is.
First I found out it was leaching into my water from plastic bottles, so I stopped buying bottled water and started filling up from the tap. Then I learned that BPA can enter the body through the coating on register receipts, so I started asking the cashier to trash them for me. And, most recently, I found out that because it coats the inside of cans -- even those that contain baby formula -- the stuff can sneak into our food, too. (So much for mom's "homemade" black bean soup.)
In fact, a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicated that 93 percent of us have detectable levels of BPA in our bodies at any given time.
Why should we worry? In a nutshell: BPA is an endocrine disruptor that has been linked to cancer, birth defects, brain and nervous system dysfunction, and reproductive abnormalities.
But now, BPA, your days may be numbered. That's because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced plans to test you for toxicity and environmental impact, according to UPI. This comes on the heels of a January announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would examine the potential human health effects of BPA in the food supply, and last year's FDA proclamation that parents should take "reasonable steps" to reduce their infants' exposure.
That's good news, because a recent study reported in Endocrine Today linked thyroid disruption to BPA -- adding yet another negative impact to an extremely long list of BPA side effects.
The bad news is that those silver bottles we've all been filling up -- in order to avoid BPA -- may actually release up to eight times more BPA than polycarbonate plastic, according to a new study reported by ScienceDirect.
So, what's a concerned citizen to do? Check with manufacturers to make sure your bottles are made from stainless steel, rather than aluminum lined with epoxy-based resin. Wash your hands after you handle receipts. Limit your intake of canned foods, and look for cans that are "BPA-free." Then take a look at a series of recipes which doctors say can block the impact of BPA, which we collected for Healthy Child Healthy World's Eat Healthy section.
Finally, help us urge Campbell's -- one of the largest canned food corporations -- to stop using BPA in their cans. Sign our petition telling Campbell's that BPA is NOT "Mmm mmm good!"
BPA, you're in our sights. Consider yourself warned.
Find out more at HealthyChild.org!
Follow Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rachellsarnoff