Bisphenol A or BPA is a chemical often found in many plastics and used as a lining to coat metals and can be found in cans that are used to store food. BPA can leach into food especially if exposed to high temperatures.
Why is BPA a concern? It is toxic in high doses, but it is also known as a xenoestrogen which is synthetic estrogen and can increase the amount of estrogen in the body. Estrogen is a natural sex hormone, important for reproductive health and regulates the menstrual cycle, the balance of this hormone is regulated by the body, however xenoestrogens can disrupt this delicate balance. Xenoestrogens have been linked to endometriosis, breast cancer, testicular cancer, infertility, asthma to name a few.
BPA is not the only xenoestrogen around, they are found everywhere. Some other examples of xenoestrogens are parabens (a chemical often found in skincare), pesticides (found on fruit and vegetables), but they are also found in building supplies and chlorine products.
To make things more confusing and disheartening, there is new research which shows that even BPA free plastic containers may also be toxic and leach synthetic estrogen.
So what to do? These chemicals can’t be avoided completely but you can make a difference.
- Avoid using plastic containers, if you do use them buy a BPA free container and place the food on a plate or bowl before heating in the microwave.
- Buy organic food where possible.
- Go for BPA free tinned food, usually organic tinned food is BPA free but check the label. My local IGA stocks these products in the health food section, but organic grocery stores have them as well (an example of BPA free coconut milk pictured below).
- Buy natural, organic personal care products such as Sukin, Alterna haircare products and the Endota organic skincare range.
- Go to a hairdresser that uses natural, chemical free colour and hair products.
- Use natural, chemical free cleaning products at home, these products can be found in organic grocery stores.
Yours in health,