There are studies showing BPA levels may decrease male fertility and increase risk of miscarriage. BPA is a synthetic estrogen found in the lining of cans and hard plastics. It is slowly being phased out but is still in most canned foods and drinks as well as receipts. Here are some of the highlights from the Environmental Working Group’s page on BPA and how to avoid it :
Avoid Canned food
- Buy baby formula in plastic, glass or other non-metal containers. When possible, choose powdered formula because the packaging contains less BPA and because the powder is diluted with fresh water. If your baby needs liquid formula, look for brands sold in plastic or glass containers.
- Limit your consumption of canned food, particularly if you are pregnant.
- Look for canned food labeled as BPA-free or buy food packed in glass jars or waxed cardboard cartons. A few small companies sell cans lined with non-BPA alternatives
Avoid Hard plastic containers
- Do not use old baby bottles, cups, dishes and food containers marked with the letters “PC,” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7. Not all #7 products are polycarbonate, but they may be.
- Do not microwave food in plastic containers
Avoid Store Receipts
EWG’s tests of major retailers’ store receipts, conducted in 2010, found that 40 percent were coated with BPA. The chemical can rub off on hands or food items. Some may be absorbed through the skin.
How to limit exposure to BPA in receipts
- Say no to receipts when possible
- Keep receipts in an envelope.
- Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with.
- Wash your hands before preparing and eating food after handling receipts.
- Do not recycle receipts and other thermal paper. BPA residues will contaminate recycled paper.
Written by Cheryl House in the Seattle Office.