Thursday, January 8, 2009

What is a Mom to Do?

Sometimes life can be so confusing. You hear one report say one thing and then the next week someone says something else. Where is a mom to turn? Are plastic bottles safe? Now they are saying that Bisphenol A can leak out of can linings and into your food? Should I just throw out everything plastic and all my can food. Do I donate my cans to a food drive knowing that they contain this controversial chemical? I just bought a new can opener--I guess I will not need that anymore. What do I say the next time I go to the dentist and they want to put sealants on my child's teeth? That's right--BPA is in dental sealants. Where do I turn?

According to an article in The Green Guide, "The Bisphenol-A Debate: A Suspect Chemical in Plastic Bottles and Cans" by Catherine Zandonella1

Here it what we know:

  • BPA was found in 95% of Americans that were a part of a biomonitoring study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2004.
  • It can be found in can linings of food and soda, dental sealants and baby and other bottles (polycarbonate)
  • BPA mimics naturally occurring estrogen. These hormones control things like the brain and reproductive systems in a developing fetus.
  • Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., a developmental biologist at the University of Missouri published a paper that showed the following results:
  • Industry Funded Studies - 11 in total - 100% found no harmful effects from BPA
  • Government-Funded Low-Dose Studies - 104 in total - 90% found harmful effects from BPA

All I can say is hmmm!

There is no doubt that we are exposed to this chemical. Yet it all comes down to the "safe levels." The FDA has stated that the chemical is not harmful.

According to the Washington Post, a very critical report was released today that stated that the FDA did not use adequate margins of safety in their assessment of BPA. They did not use enough infant formula samples and did not take into consideration a multitude of studies that linked BPA to health problems in animals such as prostrate cancer. For the full Washington Post article click here.

For the complete report click here.

Personally, while the FDA is trying to figure out what level of a known hormone disrupting chemical is safe enough for my children to be exposed to, I think I will take matters into my own hands and reduce our exposure as much as I can. Here are some of the things that we have done around our house.

GreenPea Solution:

1) Remove plastic storage containers from your home. If you can't remove them all at once, remove the ones that are showing wear (cloudiness, rough texture, stains, cracks).

2) Buy soup in cardboard cartons.

3) Never use a plastic container in the microwave. Use glass or ceramic.

4) Use waxed paper or a paper towel to cover food rather than plastic wrap.

5) Make sure that the bottles and sippy cups that you buy state that they are BPA free. We carry the Safe Sippy which is a stainless steel sippy cup as well as BPA free plates and utensils.

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