How to live your life BPA Free

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wat10w-special-icon-mGrowing up in Maine had a lot of benefits.

Fresh air (something I don’t get a lot of in Los Angeles), clean spring water (I basically bathed in Poland Spring water) and an abundance of seafood and blueberries.

Nowadays I only get lobster once a year and my blueberries are all canned in the cabinet.

I have to smuggle my berries back to LA to get through holiday pie season.

My luggage is usually over the limit but being from a small town, my Mom knows everyone or one of their relatives, so they let me slide without paying a fee.

One time my suitcase burst open from the obscene weight and 15 cans of blueberries came rolling down the carousel at LAX.

I scrambled around and around feverishly until I had collected all of my precious cans much to the embarrassment of my family.

Packaged food and drink


Growing up in a cold and remote location, we didn’t have the opportunity to get fresh produce year round.

We relied on canned and frozen vegetables in the winter and I didn’t know there was another kind of lettuce other than Iceberg until I was 15.

I think all children of baby boomers who worked full time ate a large percentage of packaged TV dinners and drank their fair share of beverages from plastic cups and containers…for years and years.

Anything that could save time was popular and life soon became all about convenience.

Fast forward to 2016 and it is still about convenience.

Sales of packaged foods in the U.S. outpaced most sectors of the economy, rocketing up 22% to $109 billion a year and bottled water is expected to be the number 1 packaged drink by the end of 2016.


The U.S. market for bottled water has nearly doubled over the past decade and according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation the total volume of bottled water consumed in the United States was 11 billion gallons, a 7.4% increase from 2013.

Back in 1976, every American drank 1.6 gallons of bottled water in 2015 it averaged about 34 gallons per person.

The U.S. market for bottled water has nearly doubled over the past decade and according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation the total volume of bottled water consumed in the United States was 11 billion gallons, a 7.4% increase from 2013.


The increase in consumption indicates that consumers see bottled water as a healthy alternative to other packaged beverages probably due to all the hidden sugar in soda and juice.


United States bottled water consumption

According to the Natural Society 1.5 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water annually in the United States.

The U.S. spends about half a billion dollars ($500,000,000) every week on bottled water. 1,500 bottles are thrown away every second  and 4 billion pounds of plastic bottles end up in landfills or as roadside litter.

Many bottles are incinerated and their chemicals released into the air while others end up in the ocean where they slowly disintegrate into our ecosystem.


Within almost all plastic water bottles and food packaging are a myriad of chemicals, most notably, Bisphenol A (BPA).

BPA is an industrial chemical that is used to harden polycarbonate plastics to give them shape.

It is found in water bottles, canned foods, CD’s, DVD’s, bottle caps, plastic containers, sunglasses and even paper receipts.

There are two ways BPA can get inside of you through consumption and contact and it can be found inside over 90% of the U.S. population.


Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines and research has shown that BPA seeps into food and beverages from containers risking exposure to health effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.


Basically BPA messes with hormones by mimicking estrogen, blocking testosterone and stimulating uterine growth.


History of Bisphenol A

Bisphenol A was discovered in 1891 by Russian chemist Aleksandr Dianin and has been used since the 1950s to harden polycarbonate plastics and make epoxy resin, which is used in the lining of food and beverage containers.

British biochemist Edward Charles Dodds tested BPA as an artificial estrogen in the 1930’s but found it to be less effective than estradiol.

Dodds eventually developed a structurally similar compound, DES, which was used as a synthetic estrogen drug until it was banned due to its risk of causing cancer.

BPA was never used as a drug but it has the ability to mimic the effects of natural estrogen and interrupt the network of signals that controls the reproductive development in humans and animals.

This is the stuff humans have cohabitated with for almost 60 years. An entire generation has grown up with TV dinners, packaged food, canned food and bottled water.

Mice that were exposed to BPA as fetuses developed abnormalities of the ovaries, uterus and vagina.

According to Dr. Hugh Taylor of Yale University, “Studies found genetic abnormalities in eggs, an increased risk of mammary cancers, and early puberty in females.” Male mice exposed to the chemical had reduced sperm production and increased prostate size.

Although fewer human studies have been done, researchers have found associations between BPA exposure and an increased risk of miscarriage and polycystic ovary disease, Dr. Taylor said.

The health-related economic savings of removing bisphenol A from our food supply is conservatively estimated at $1.74 billion annually.


Economics of BPA’s health cost

Leonardo Trasande an Associate Professor in Pediatrics at New York University, researched the economic trade-offs of replacing BPA with a safer alternative.

He focused on the social costs of childhood obesity and adult coronary heart disease attributable to food-related BPA exposure in the United States in 2008. Trasande estimated that BPA exposure was associated with 12,404 cases of childhood obesity and more than 33,800 cases of new coronary heart disease that year, totaling $2.98 billion in health costs.

The study estimated that removing BPA could prevent about 6,200 cases of childhood obesity and 22,350 cases of coronary heart disease each year. The total economic benefit was estimated at $1.74 billion a year.

Studies in male animals have found reduced sperm production, undescended testes and decreased testosterone production.


Research tells us that Bisphenol A contributes to the following:

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Low Sperm Count
  • Early onset puberty in girls
  • Obesity
  • Hyperactivity, impaired learning
  • Brain Damage
  • Breast Cancer
  • Developmental problems on fetuses, infants, and children
  • Alteration in gender-specific behavior in boys.

BPA leaches into bottled water and packaged food if the plastic has been sitting in heat or is reused.

Think about that case of water you have in the back of your car that is sitting in the sun in a hot parking lot right now…I am.

BPA has been used to make most plastics and Epoxy resins since the 1960s.

It has been banned in baby bottles and infant formula packaging in the United States but not in plastics and resins for cans that we use every day.

As of Feb 2016 the FDA’s current perspective is that “BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods. Based on FDA’s ongoing safety review of scientific evidence, the available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging.”

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviewed new scientific information on BPA in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015 and experts concluded on each occasion that they could not identify any new evidence which would lead them to revise their opinion that BPA is safe.


How can basically the same agencies for the United States and Europe differ on this opinion?


Recently California Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced, the BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act that would ban the sale of food package containers composed in whole or in part of BPA unless they come with a warning label that states: “This food packaging contains BPA, an endocrine-disrupting chemical, according to the National Institutes of Health.”

According the Natural News, BPA is currently found in 70 percent of all food packaging.

BPA leaches in the food and beverages and interrupts hormones and causes all types of damage to the body before it’s let out in our water supply through urine.

So that’s the only good part. It does leave your body after a few days.


How to get BPA out of your life

It’s not as easy as you think….

Eat fresh food not canned!

According to a study from the Breast Cancer Fund the best solution for getting BPA out of your life is subsisting on a fresh-food diet which would cut down on BPA exposure by 60%.

To be completely safe, avoid all canned foods.

If that’s not possible, avoid these specific canned foods, which are known to be high in BPA: coconut milk, soup, meat, vegetables, meals, juice, fish, beans, meal-replacement drinks, and fruit. Take care to avoid foods that are acidic, salty, or fatty.

Don’t eat microwave meals!

Instead of eating microwavable meals that come out of plastic containers, eat only freshly-prepared foods.


Don’t eat with plastic utensils!

Instead of using plastic utensils use metal.

No plastic containers!

Steer clear of plastic storage containers for leftover food and use glass containers with BPA-free plastic lids. The food should not touch the lids.

Use a French Press for Coffee!

Instead of using a plastic coffee-maker or going out for coffee, use a French press or ceramic drip. Ok we might have an issue here.

Drink tap water and use BPA free containers!

Drink tap water or rely on BPA-free stainless steel water bottles instead of slugging down bottled water. Most 5 gallon water bottles are ripe for chemical contamination if they are exposed to heat. So even if your water delivery company says it’s BPA free there could be trace elements released if it sits in 100 degree weather for a few days. So tap water is the safest way to go. Also most bottled water is just filtered municipal water anyway so save money and energy by filtering your own.


Because we all can’t live on a spring fed pond in Maine and eat fresh vegetables out of the garden sometimes we have to improvise.


Check Out NewAir’s 100% BPA Free Water Dispenser and Filtration Bottle:

• Can be refilled endlessly from your tap ensuring time and money savings.
• Eliminates chlorine, sediment, and VOCs from your drinking water.
• Filters 211 gallons of water & is refillable preventing environmental waste.
• Made with 100% BPA-free materials to ensure healthy drinking water.
Just drink it with a glass or metal container and you are BPA FREE!

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