BPA

BPA

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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    Scientists are debating whether BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates pose a risk to children's health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concerns about chemicals used in plastics. BPA is used to make plastics clear, strong and hard to break. Some baby bottles, dishes and toys contain this chemical. Some research has found that bisphenol A can affect the brain, behavior and prostate gland in infants and children.

    If you're concerned, buy BPA-free plastic baby products. You can also use baby bottles made of glass, polypropylene or polyethylene. If you use plastics, avoid plastics numbered 7 (look for the number in a triangle typically found on the bottom of containers). Use plastics numbered 1, 2 and 4. If plastic baby bottles and infant cups contain BPA, discard them if they have scratches. Don't put boiling or very hot liquids, such as formula, into plastic bottles or containers that contain BPA.

  • 2 Answers
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    The concern with plastic food containers is the transfer of chemicals into the food. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in bisphenol A (BPA). In larger amounts, BPA has been shown to interfere with hormones, primarily estrogen. It is unknown whether the amounts we are exposed to in foods or water bottles affect our bodies. It is important to note that most cans have "plasticizers" and therefore are also a potential source of BPA and other chemicals.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Over 90% of all canned goods in the United States have BPA. If the label doesn’t read “BPA-free,” chances are that it contains the chemical. More acidic foods like tomatoes, chili, and canned soups appear to have the most BPA. A study by Harvard researchers found that people who ate just one serving of canned soup for five days showed an increase in their BPA levels by over 1,000%.
    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Exposure to BPA and DEHP (a phthalate found in many plastic household items) has now been linked to reduced thyroid hormones, which every cell in your body depends on.

    It is now also recommended that you avoid handling thermal paper receipts, like those from gas stations and fast food restaurants, before eating -- especially if you're pregnant!

    BPA is linked to cancer, miscarriage, fertility, obesity, immunity and sexual-development problems. Similar lab studies have linked DEHP and other phthalates to lower sperm counts, reproductive problems and liver cancer.

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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    A debate rages over the safety of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical added to some plastic. Is it leaching into food and drink, and is BPA harmful to health? Animal study after animal study finds that BPA lowers fertility, increases the risk of breast cancer, and causes genetic changes. The latest shows that early life exposure harms adult learning ability, yet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there's no reason to remove BPA from food and beverage containers.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    There are simple steps you can take to minimize your exposure to bisphenol A (BPA). Follow the steps below:
    • Opt for frozen, jarred, or pouched foods instead of cans.
    • Choose single-ingredient canned foods instead of all-in-one meals, which tend to be higher in BPA and less healthy in general.
    • Rinse canned fruit and vegetables with water before eating or heating; this may reduce the amount of BPA you ingest.

    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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  • 3 Answers
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    To avoid exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), you can eat fresh foods instead of canned -- many food cans are lined with BPA. You could also research which companies don’t use BPA or similar chemicals in their products and stick with those brands.

    Avoid plastics marked with a “PC,” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7. Not all of these plastics contain BPA, but many do -- and it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to keeping synthetic hormones out of your body.

    While it's unlikely that you'll forgo taking receipts for your purchases, be aware that the thermal paper used to produce them is often coated with BPA.
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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    BPA is likely to be in older clear, hard, refillable plastic water bottles, pitchers, and baby bottles -- most new models are BPA-free. But it's also in the lining of up to 80% of food cans, so choose fresh or frozen foods, or look for can labels that shout, "No BPA!" And turn down thermal register receipts, or wash your hands after touching them.

    About phthalates: Six have been banned from cosmetics and kids’ toys since 2008, but others still lurk in toys, food packages, shower curtains, rain coats, hoses and shampoo. Tip from a toxicologist: Avoid stuff with a plastic-y odor, or air it out in a backyard or on a porch for a few days before using.
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    Some may say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but do you really want a chemical used in plastics imitating the sex hormone estrogen in your body? No! Unfortunately, bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic hormone, can trick the body into thinking it’s the real thing -- and the results aren’t pretty. BPA has been linked to everything from breast and others cancers to reproductive problems, obesity, early puberty and heart disease. According to government tests, 93% of Americans have BPA in their bodies!
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    APhilip J. Landrigan, MD, Occupational Therapy, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    Many doctors and scientists are concerned about phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) because they can act in ways similar to hormones naturally found in our body. Hormones help control how our body works.

    In studies using rats, phthalates cause problems with male reproductive organs. In children, scientists have found an association between phthalates and changes in reproductive hormones and increased allergies, runny nose, and eczema. In adults, phthalates are associated with changes in sperm quality.

    BPA may cause changes in cells in breasts, the uterus, and the prostate, which may increase risk of cancers. In addition, BPA has been associated with increases in developmental disorders of the brain and nervous system in animals. These developmental disorders in animals are like problems such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in humans.
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