Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Anger Management: Remove Plastics

Concerns over the risks of exposure to BPA (Bisphenol-A) have been escalating for some time, ranging from massive mainstream media attention to popular baby stores pulling products containing BPA from their shelves. BPA, a chemical used in plastics, managed to sneak into every aspect of our daily lives and environment in such forms as baby bottles and sippy cups, formula cans, canned food linings, water supply pipes, medical tubing, and even cash register receipts. This chemical, which enables plastics to be flexible, appears to be an insidious companion and has been linked to reproduction problems, heart disease, and diabetes as well as to developmental disorders among infants and hormone disruption. Despite years of claiming BPA is safe, the Food and Drug Administration is now looking to spend more than $30 million to research the effects of BPA in our food supply.

Now a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina adds more fuel to the fire: their findings indicate that high levels of BPA exposure in baby girls is related to aggressive behaviors. The UNC study examined infant girls born to mothers with high levels of BPA during pregnancy. By age 2, the girls born to mothers with high levels of exposure "were more likely to have aggressive and hyperactive behaviors than children of women with lower BPA levels, especially if higher exposure was seen earlier in pregnancy."

How can you avoid BPA? Switch to stainless steel bottles for drinking and stay away from plastic water bottles, avoid using plastic baby bottles and sippy cups, do not purchase canned foods (chicken soup, ravioli, and baby formula have been shown to have particularly high levels of BPA), store your food in glass, stainless steel, or ceramic containers and not plastic ones, skip the receipts, and cleanse your home of toxic toys. And be sure to visit Bisphenol-A Free for even more information and guides to removing plastics from your household.

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