Be Wary of Bisphenol A
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic compound used in the manufacture of certain common plastics, to make them more pliable. These chemicals are so widespread in the environment that 95% of men, women, and children have detectable levels of BPA in their bloodstreams. The official position of the FDA is that the low levels present in our food supply are safe.
But FDA also said this, in 2010: "On the basis of results from recent studies using novel approaches to test for subtle effects, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children."
Excuse me? BPA is safe, but it may affect growing children's brains and other organs?! What's going on here?
BPA is among the highest-volume chemicals manufactured around the globe. We have known for decades that BPA is an endocrine disruptor. It tricks estrogen receptors into a state of inappropriate activation. Although we think of estrogens as female hormones, estrogen receptors are located throughout the bodies of men, women, and children. Estrogens play many important roles in the body, in both sexes.
Cellular receptors for estrogen are especially dense in nervous system tissues, and the tissues of the reproductive system. Animal studies suggest that disturbing the interplay between natural estrogens and their cellular receptors is likely to have an impact not only on individuals, but on their offspring, as well, even if those descendants are not directly exposed to BPA. So not only may BPA affect you—it could have other serious effects for generations down the road, such as your children.
We have known for decades that BPA leaches out of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics. This type of plastic is commonly used for bottled water, and in the lining of food cans, and studies have shown that BPA contamination of bottled water is likely to contribute significantly to an individual's burden of artificial endocrine disruptors. So there's an opportunity for action: Stop buying and drinking expensive bottled water. Instead, consider storing drinking water in glass or metal containers. Water is good for you. But BPA is clearly not.
[Adapted from True Nutrition—European Secrets for American Women, by Cocó March NMD]