I’m sure many of you have heard about the controversy surrounding the chemical bisphenol-A, more commonly known as BPA. This chemical is often added to plastics to harden them and can be found in hundreds of products, from trashcan liners to water bottles. The Federal Food and Drug Association has long known that small amounts of BPA used in food or drink storage products can leach into the food or drink, especially when the container is heated. Recent research has suggested that even small amounts of BPA unknowingly ingested by consumers can cause serious health effects, especially in developing fetuses and children.
BPA mimics the effects of the hormone estrogen, which can interfere with a child’s development and growth. BPA has also been linked to health issues such as:
- heart disease
- sexual dysfunction in adults.
What’s really unnerving, though, is that several studies indicate that up to 90% of Americans have trace amounts of BPA in their urine. It has even been found in the breast milk of nursing mothers and the placentas of pregnant women.
You may be wondering, “What is being done to protect me and my family from this potentially dangerous chemical?” The FDA has reversed its previous position that trace amounts of BPA are safe for human consumption. It now maintains that even trace amounts of BPA could have potentially negative health consequences, especially in children. In July, the FDA banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and children’s “sippy cups” because of concern over the potential health risks.
While the FDA maintains that the use of BPA in other food and drink containers is safe, it is also focusing on finding a replacement for BPA in food and drink products because of the potential health risks. While many people believe that the BPA health scare is all a bunch of hullabaloo, research has shown one thing for sure: Consumption of BPA most seriously affects developing fetuses and children. Moms should therefore take caution to buy products that are labeled “BPA-free” when buying containers that will hold food or drinks for the family, especially if the container is made to be heated. Pregnant women should also avoid products containing BPA, as some research has shown that it can cross the placenta to the baby. While there’s no definitive proof yet that the consumption of small amounts of BPA has negative health consequences, I think all the Skinny Moms out there would agree that, when it comes to the health of our family, we’d rather be safe than sorry.