Wednesday, March 3, 2010

BPA and Major Health Problems

I was the lady in this story a few years ago. I remember my husband was so irritated when I threw out all the plastic plates/bowls and cups. Now we have replaced most of them with BPA free stuff. I am glad. I DO think it's a big deal.

FROM NBC: More and more food manufacturers say they're trying to get rid of a toxic substance called bisphenol a -- or BPA. It's found in some food packaging, hard plastics and all sorts of consumer items... and now, federal health officials are warning, it could be linked to some major health problems.

"We literally emptied all of our kitchen cabinets of the various plastic products we had."
Like most parents, Mauri Ziff doesn't want to take any chances when it comes to the health of her children. That's why the mother of two scoured her kitchen cupboards to get rid of any containers that might contain BPA. Mauri Ziff/Combating BPA In Kitchen "I find it really disturbing that the chemicals are leaching into our food." But it might be too little, too late.

Jane Houlihan with the Environmental Working Group says BPA was approved by the Food and Drug Administration 50 years ago and it's been in our food supply ever since. It wasn't until last month that the agency even acknowledged that the chemical could be poisonous.
Jane Houlihan/Environmental Working Group "It's really been in the last 10 years that we've seen an explosion of studies showing that BPA is very toxic at very low doses."

Studies show BPA is already in most of us. The Centers for Disease Control found the chemical in 93 percent of the Americans they tested.
Last year - The D.C. based environmental working group tested the cord blood of 10 newborn babies. BPA was present in 9 of them. Houlihan: "That's proof positive that this chemical crosses the placenta and enters children even before the moment of birth." While there have been more than 600 studies documenting BPA's effects on laboratory animals, Houlihan says newer research on humans is finding definitive evidence that the chemical can make people sick. "

What these studies show is that BPA at high, but still normal levels, shows higher risks for heart disease, diabetes, reproductive problems, recurrent miscarriages, a really wide range of health risks in studies in people." The problem is BPA mimics estrogen when it gets into the body. Houlihan says those extra hormones can affect a child's development.
But despite all the evidence, manufacturers are still struggling to get it out of our food supply. That's because BPA hides in many places. It's not just hard plastics. It's in the liners of food cans and even on paper receipts.

Mauri Ziff is now trying to avoid canned foods when possible and all of her containers are BPA free. But she worries that it's too late. "I'm angry because I feel like as soon as they found this out, they should have done things to stop it and even though they're doing things now, it's still taking a long time. They need to do it and make things safer."
A lot of food manufacturers are working on new types of packaging that doesn't have BPA in it. but finding an inexpensive solution is tough, so it's going to take some time.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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