Some people may call me extreme for some things I practice, such as not using the microwave often, not using plastic food or drink containers, and avoiding packaged foods. One of the many reasons I do these things is because I want myself, my husband, and our two boys to be the absolute healthiest we can be.
The results of a recent study really bum me out, because they affect our most precious population: children. The chemical bisphenol A -; otherwise known as BPA - is making waves yet again. The Journal of Immunology and Allergy just published a report that among inner city children, the rates of being diagnosed with asthma go up 40 percent among kids who have high levels of BPA in their bodies.
When are we going to learn that putting chemicals into our bodies is causing us so much harm?
BPA has been under fire before. When we ingest too much BPA, it affects hormone production. BPA has been linked to increased obesity risks among kids, as well as a slew of other health problems for adults, including kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease.
Even though BPA is not allowed in the production of baby bottles or sippy cups, kids are still being exposed to the chemical.
Of course this study doesn't prove that BPA causes asthma. The study only took into account risk factors like ethnicity and exposure to cigarette smoke, and not factors such as weight or poor diet, which can also lead to asthma.
But the bottom line is still the same for me: We, and especially our children, need to avoid eating or drinking anything that can be potentially harmful!
So what can you do if you are concerned about you or your family being exposed to BPA? The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences recommends the following:
- Don't microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Polycarbonate is strong and durable, but over time it may break down from overuse at high temperatures.
- Plastic containers have recycle codes on the bottom. Some (though not all) plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
- Reduce your use of canned foods.
- When possible, opt for glass, porcelain, or stainless-steel containers, particularly for hot foods or liquids.
I'm not sharing this to freak you out, I just think it is so important for us to be educated so we can make informed decisions on how we choose to live our lives, including what we eat and drink.