Not long ago, in 2008, when the dangers of bisphenol A (BPA) first came to our attention it was something that made me stop and think about plastics. Plastics are a huge part of our lives. They are used in so many ways that its nearly impossible to avoid them all together. Personally, I made a decision a long time ago to avoid plastics as much as possible – especially plastic that comes in contact with our food.
The problem with BPA is that it mimics the hormone estrogen and has been linked to a long list of serious health problems. Estrogen is essential for everything from bone growth to ovulation to heart function. Too much or too little, especially during pregnancy or early childhood, can alter brain and organ development, leading to disease later in life. In addition, elevated estrogen levels generally increase a woman's risk of breast cancer. In recent news, we learned that although children's products, like sippy cups, are now being manufactured BPA-free, the BPA is now being replaced with other things that may be even worse. This article on Mother Jones states:
“CertiChem and its founder, George Bittner, who is also a professor of neurobiology at the University of Texas-Austin, had recently coauthored a paper in the NIH journal Environmental Health Perspectives. It reported that “almost all” commercially available plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens—even when they weren't exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam of a dishwasher, or the sun's ultraviolet rays. According to Bittner's research, some BPA-free products actually released synthetic estrogens that were more potent than BPA.”
The new replacement for BPA, called Tritan, has been marketed as a plastic free of synthetic estrogen. It is now being said that this may not be the case. Ever since BPA came into the news, I've had the nagging suspicion that this was going to happen. I've been just waiting for something like this to come out in the news so I am not the least bit surprised.
What Should You Use Instead?
- Food Storage Containers – Replace plastic containers with glass like Pyrex or CorningWare
- Water Bottles – Replace plastic bottles with glass or stainless steel like LifeFactory or Klean Kanteen
- Sippy Cups – Replace plastic cups with glass or stainless steel like LifeFactory or Thermos
- Baby Bottles – Replace plastic bottles with glass like these from Evenflo
Have you tried to eliminate plastic food storage? What is the hardest thing for you to replace? Let us know in the comments.