the ecovangelist

SIMPLE CHANGES FOR A HEALTHIER YOU!

New BPA study shows exposure may effect behavior October 24, 2011

Filed under: In your body — theecovangelist @ 3:29 pm
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A new study released by the Journal of Pediatrics reinforces our previous fears about bisphenol-A (BPA). The study found that 3-year old girls who were exposed to higher levels of BPA while in the womb, were more aggressive, hyperactive, anxious and depressed. BPA is a chemical used to make plastic and we are exposed when BPA leaches into our food through the lining of canned food, plastic packaging, and plastic bottles. BPA has been found to be estrogenic and an endocrine disruptor. Limiting exposure to BPA is important for everyone, but is especially imperative for children and pregnant women. Joe Braun, the author of the study says, “These results suggest that the girls may be more vulnerable to the effects of gestational BPA exposures and there is this unique window of brain development that is susceptible to BPA exposures.”

Check out my previous post on bottled water and BPA for more details.

To reiterate, you can limit your and your children’s exposure to BPA by:

* Limiting your exposure to plastic products

* Avoid canned products

* Do not use liquid infant formula that has BPA lined in the bottles (this generally only occurs in the pre-made infant formula

* Use bulk food, rather than food that comes in plastic packaging

* Avoid plastics #7 and #3

* Use stainless steel or glass containers and bottles

* It is very difficult to completely eliminate our exposure to plastics, but if you take away one tip from this post, please do not microwave plastic containers. Even if they are BPA free, they still might leach other chemicals into your food.

For more information:

http://healthfinder.gov/News/newsstory.aspx?docid=658121

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/sya/sya-bpa/

http://www.aoec.org/pehsu/aboutus.html

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Phthala…..Who? January 28, 2011

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Phthalates, what are they?

Phthalates, a chemical that can possibly cause infertility and decrease testosterone & sperm count….did that catch your attention?  Many of you have probably never heard of Phthalate Esters, but they are a class of chemicals we are constantly surrounded by and probably have in our bodies.

  • Phthalate esters are a group of chemicals used as a plasticizer in plastics and a solvent in personal care products.

Why are they used?

  • Phthalates are used in majority of cosmetics, shampoos, lotions, perfumes, conditioners and several other personal care products as a solvent.
  • They allow plastics to be more flexible, transparent and increase the longevity of plastic.
  • Phthalates are found in: cosmetics, shampoo, lotions, toys, cable wires, medication, paint, canned food, dental & medical materials, wood varnishes, food containers, floor tiles, PVC flooring and most plastic products.

How is it bad for me?

  • Due to their chemical properties and lack of covalent bonds, phthalates leach from plastics and solvents extremely easily. 
  • NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data shows that Phthalate were found in 78% of the 2541 sampled.
  • Studies are still being conducted to further understand phthalates but they may be linked to the following:
    • Infertility
    • Decreased sperm count
    • Cancer
    • Decreased pulmonary function
    • Asthma
    • Brain development in fetus and infants
    • Reproductive development
    • Endocrine and Thyroid disruption
    • Anti-androgen effects
    • Obesity and type II diabetes
  • Many argue that these health concerns are only seen at high levels of phthalate exposure. However, since phthalates are in several plastic products and cosmetics, the cumulative effect on our bodies can be rather high.

How does it get into my body?

  • Phthalates exposure comes from several routes such as ingestion, inhalation and dermal exposure.
  • Majority of exposure is primarily through dust and food ingestion.

What can I do?

  • Purchase lotions, shampoos, cosmetics and other personal care products that say phthalate free.  Unfortunately companies are not required to list phthalates in their ingredient list, so the only way to know if a product does not contain phthalates is if it states “phthalate free”
  • Dust & vacuum often, like several other chemicals, our exposure is through dust particles that contain them
  • Purchase toys that are phthalate free…especially chew toys
  • Limit your use of plastic, especially as food containers and use glass or stainless steal instead.

Current regulations

  • The European Union has banned/phased out phthalates in several products, especially toys.
  • The US EPA has phased out three phthalates, DEHP, BBP, and DBP.  However there are several other phthalates that are still commonly used in cosmetics, personal care products and toys.
  • Unfortunately there is little regulation on products that are imported from other countries into the US, so it is unknown what the phthalate content is.

Supporting articles

http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/newscience/oncompounds/phthalates/phthalates.htm

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/less-potent-dinp-phthalate-not-so-different/

http://www.ewg.org/reports/teens

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2011/01/22/suzuki-health-products-hormone-disruptors.html

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2005/113-8/ss.html

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/121/2/e260

 

Plastic bottles and BPA…why should you worry? April 4, 2010

Filed under: In your body — theecovangelist @ 2:01 am
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What is BPA?

  • BPA, also known as Bisphenol A is a common chemical used to make plastic and is lined in metal containers.
  • It is found in baby bottles, water bottles, almost all canned food, and soda cans When heated or cooled, BPA leaches into food and liquids.
  • The chemical was found in the urine of 95% of Americans tested How does it effect me? BPA is a known endocrine disruptor and when in your body, it can mimic your hormones, eventually causing an imbalance.
  • Several studies have linked BPA to many medical problems, including breast and prostate cancer, thyroid disruption, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, hyperactivity and possibly miscarriages.
  • This is of specific concern for children, since several baby bottles still have BPA, and many of the effects are seen in fetal and infant brain development.

What should I do?

  • Use Stainless Steel bottles
  • Use Glass containers to store food
  • Avoid plastic bottles and containers….yes even many of your favorite Nalgene bottles have BPA
  • Avoid canned food, canned soda Aluminum bottles are great also, but are sometimes lined with BPA, so double check before you purchase
  • If you must use plastic bottles/containers: make sure they are BPA free, do not leave them in extreme heat or cold.
  •  Do not put in them in the dishwasher, hand wash gently Avoid #7 and #3 plastics: Most plastics have a symbol or number at the bottom.
  • Plastics #1, #2, #4, #5, #6 do not use BPA, but may leach other chemicals

Supporting News Articles and Journals

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/opinion/08kristof.html?_r=1 http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm197739.htm http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/34532034.html “CERHR Expert Panel Report for Bisphenol A” http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/84527992.html http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123270713/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703906204575027260626461950.html