Will BPA Be Banned in Foods?

Will BPA Be Banned in Foods?

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March 31st could mark the end of the BPA era—when it comes to your food products, at least. By that date, the F.D.A. will reveal if they’ll ban the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from food packaging. This ruling would mean that BPA would no longer linger in infant food and formula, canned foods and drinks, or reusable food containers.BPA is a “fake” estrogen found in plastic linings and recycled products, which interrupts the natural functioning of your hormones. In animals, this brings on early puberty in children, and threatens fertility later in life. Beyond that, it can increase risk for cancers of the reproductive organs, and disorders of the heart and brain. Human data is only associated with those, but that is enough for us to avoid it, if at all possible.COLUMN: The Unfriendly, Everyday ChemicalAnd you much more likely than not have BPA in your system right this very moment!We’ve talked about the threats of BPA in previous columns. So why hasn’t it been outlawed already? Food companies claim there’s not enough BPA in individual products for it to be considered dangerous for you. But research in lab animals shows harmful effects from even low doses of BPA. And enough finds its way into your body from unlikely places you’re not looking out for.Here are some of the secret sources of BPA you’ll find at your local supermarket!1. Soda and energy drinksIf your beverage comes in a can lined with plastic, chances are the BPA will leach into your drink. Diet and regular sodas are already on our list of offenders. Sugared beverages should already be off your shopping list if you want you and yours to look and be healthy. Artificial sweeteners and added sugar can expand your waistline.2. Canned foodsThis includes soups, vegetables, beans, et cetera. Some companies have already switched to BPA-free cans, such as Eden Organic. They use a resin alternative, and for acidic tomatoes they have to use amber glass, which also protects the tomatoes from light damage. You can browse a list of some BPA-free products and packages here.MORE: A New Diet Soda Danger3. Wine and Beer If wine is fermented in vats with plastic linings, it may contain BPA. Beer in cans faces the same issues as soda. A surefire way to avoid BPA now? Choose bottled over canned.4. Pizza boxesThough likely minimal amounts, the recycled materials in cardboard boxes like these can have traces of BPA.5. ReceiptsNext time you’re at the grocery store, don’t check the receipt! Or wash your hands incredibly carefully after. Some have double the suggested safe limit of BPA (3.5 milligrams per day), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. One chemist estimates that the average receipt has 60 to 100 milligrams, which would be up to 28 times the recommended amount! The only time you get it in your system is when you touch your hands to your mouth or food, so washing is key here.6. Toilet paper The supermarket paper product aisle does not offer solace from BPA! The insidious little chemical finds its way into recycled materials in your TP, according to a Denmark study. Two reasons to wash your hands—really well.If  you want this chemical removed from your diet, you can let the FDA know. We are avoiding it from ours, but you make your call.  .QUIZ: Is Your Lifestyle Healthy?