As consumers we are sold a huge array of harmful products on a daily basis, with very little (if any) knowledge of the adverse effects that these products can have on our body and on our environment. Have you ever wondered what all those ‘BPA-free’ stickers on plastic goods are? It’s most common to find the stickers on food-grade plastics, such as some tupperware containers and water bottles, but we’re never really told what it all means and why we should steer clear of any BPA plastics.
Bisphenol-A or ‘BPA’ is a chemical compound that has been used for generations in the production of plastic. Believe it or not Birphenol-A actually started it’s life as a form of synthetic hormone in the birth control industry, but was replaced by stronger medications that had more fast-acting effects. Since the late 1950’s and with a clear understanding of it’s original purpose, the plastics industry has used this dangerous chemical compound within their products, which the consumer then uses constantly throughout their days.
But whats all the fuss about BPA? BPA is an ‘endocrine disruptor’ which simply means that it mimics other hormones and disrupts our delicate hormonal/endocrine systems. There have been numerous scientific tests over the years that have proven time and again that BPA quickly leaches out of plastic products and is absorbed into our blood streams. In fact in a recent study BPA was detected in 93% of people tested. BPA is proven to be connected to devastating illnesses such as autism, ADHD, prostate cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer just to name a few.
After many years health advocates have managed to get the word out into the public domain and have persuaded some companies to remove BPA from their products. However our government health agencies (who have huge ties to the plastic/oil industries) still are not doing all they can to clamp down on these dangerous products that are flooding the market today. According to the European Food Safety Authority for example “BPA poses no health risk to consumers of any age group including unborn children, infants and adolescents”.
The more I learn about the plastics industry the more I see that it really is important to do our research and not automatically believe that the companies we buy from or our institutions have our best interests at heart. Do we expect our government institutions to be trustworthy when so much of their funding comes from the very industries that we need their protection from?
Though it’s important to know this information, it’s also really important to realise that we are empowered to make changes that will directly support our health! Here are some tips on how to eradicate BPA plastics from our daily lives:
- Stop using plastic water bottles that often contain BPA and carry a steel or glass water bottle with you instead
- Make larger quantities of food for dinner and package it into your lunches in BPA-free tupperware containers. You can get fantastic glass ones that work great, or even a mason jar will do the job.
- Never microwave or reheat in plastic!
- Buy beauty products that are in BPA-free containers, preferably glass. You can also make your own moisturisers, balms etc. There are a ton of resources online.
- Stop using cling-film and plastic utensils, switch to reusable containers and bamboo takeaway utensils instead
- If you have children, switch to BPA free babies bottles, you can also get hardened glass bottles these days too. If you can, Breastfeed! Did you know that babies formula milk comes in tins or tubs that are lined with BPA plastic?
I’m so grateful for all of the incredible resources that we have available to us thanks to the Internet. I really hope that this blog becomes a useful and inspiring online resource for people to live a creative, healthy and environmentally conscious life.
Until next time <3