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BPA: It’s Still Out There

By now, you’ve probably heard about Bisphenol-A or BPA, a chemical that’s used to manufacture non-rigid polycarbonate plastics such as take-home food containers as well as epoxy resins, found inside cans and the lids of glass bottles. It can also be found in cash register receipts.

This week, The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine Mainely Moms and Dads confirmed the chemical is still out there, and it can be found in many of the foods we’re giving our babies and toddlers. From the organization’s news release:

The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine sent fifteen containers of food to Anresco Laboratories for analysis in January and released the results today. BPA was found in 11 of the 12 sampled containers of baby food manufactured by Beech-Nut, Gerber, Earth’s Best Organic and Shaw’s Wild Harvest brand. It was also found in all three of the canned foods sampled including Campbell’s Disney Princess SpaghettiOs, Dora the Explorer soup, and Chef Boyardee macaroni and cheese.

This is pretty scary. In case you haven’t seen the data: Teams of independent researchers have found that BPA isn’t as safe as once though. The reason: It acts as an endocrine disruptor, mimicking human hormones like estrogen. People have linked it to increased risk of breast cancer, thyroid issues, lowered male fertility rates, decreased birth weight, and wheezing, among other ailments and issues. Another October 2011 Harvard School of Public Health study found BPA exposure in the womb is linked to behavioral and emotional difficulties in girls. Of course the folks who bring us this plastic and resin say it’s perfectly fine. Me? I’m thinking that all those researchers can’t be wrong, which is why I limit my family’s BPA exposure as much as possible.

The smart folks in Maine are asking manufacturers of food intentionally marketed or sold to children under three to replace BPA or disclose how much BPA is in their packaging. They say a second phase will ask for a complete ban of the substance. It’s a start, I guess, but I’d rather see our governments come out and ban BPA in all food containers as well as anything that might be ingested by kids or adults. What do you think?

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