Tag Archives | chemical exposure

What You Need To Know Re: BPA-free Products

I watched a documentary back in January regarding the link to BPA and obesity. The film was called Programmed To Be Fat? and was aired on The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. Click here to view the documentary and my apologies for readers in the US that might not have access. For you, I’m going to summarize the important parts of the film, but before I do, there is something you all need to know about BPA-free products and how manufacturers might be able to get away with labeling a product as BPA-free, when in actual fact, not lessening the adverse chemical effect within the product. Let’s take the most common example of a BPA-free product: toddler sippy cups or food containers.  We have been lured into a safe cocoon by seeing the words BPA-free stamped on the packaging. Well what if manufactures are using a sister chemical to make the product called BPS?  It is true and here is the quote from Professor Fred Vom Saal from the University of Missouri as quoted from the documentary. If you are still purchasing products marketed as BPA-free thinking they are safe for your family, this is a must read:

Because people want BPA-free products, they are using BPS as a replacement for BPA. And the problem is BPA and BPS are both estrogen mimicking chemicals and there is no reason to think that BPS is going to be a lot safer than BPA.

Understanding this fact might be as important as realizing that packaging stamped with “phthalate-free” while still being made with PVC (the most dangerous & toxic plastic available) gives consumers a false sense of security. And really, as consumers are WE OKAY WITH THIS? Really, to have people making products geared to babies and children, I ask again “ARE WE OKAY WITH THIS?”  No we are not. What is the easiest way to avoid being duped by the huge companies profiting off poisoning our families?  Avoid plastic all together. In my mind, especially in the form of food, liquid storage and food packaging.  My thanks to Groovy Green Livin who shared the Huffington Post article this morning regarding BPA and alternatives – it reminded me of what I learned from the documentary. Lots of good information in the Huffington Post article, but nothing talking about using BPS in products to dupe consumers.

 

 Now that you harnessed with the information on why to ditch plastic permanently, here is a bit of information on the documentary called Programmed To Be Fat? It was a very informative look into chemical exposure and another terrific documentary on CBC!

Experts believe that it’s not just our modern day lifestyles that are making us fat, but modern day chemicals. Why? Obesity rates have almost doubled in the last 30 years and is happening not only in the US, but in all countries with a western lifestyle. Also since 1950 on, newborn babies have been born heavier. When scientists starting examining the effects of BPA and reproductive science, they kept seeing a side effect in their lab animals and test – Fat. The main problem is during development (as fetus) and the newly found obesogens. This is a term coined by Bruce Blumberg in 2005, after getting the results of a ground-breaking study of pregnant lab mice fed a marine pesticide (and more importantly a endocrine-disrupting chemical) called tributyltin. He discovered that it was also turning reproductive cells into fat cells.

The link between obesity and diabetes is well known. What’s new is the possible link to chemicals. Programmed To Be Fat tells us that 20 years ago there was approx. 30 million people worldwide with diabetes … now there are 250 million (!!).  Being fat can cause cancer.  We know all of this and despite our best efforts to change this in society it is still happening. Why is that? Bruce Blumberg and other scientists will tell you they suspect endocrine disrupting chemicals and BPA is one of these.

The most important precaution they suggest in the film is to reduce chemical exposure and focus on nutrition if you are pregnant.  What we’re doing is programming people so that they will develop obesity later on in life that will be passed on to future generations. The focus needs to be precaution since we’ve allowed these chemicals into the marketplace without proper testing.

Related Stories:

Category filled with articles re: BPA Plastics

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BPA – Are You Still Here?

Happy New Year! I wanted to start the New Year with going back to basics on forms of chemical exposure. I’m starting with BPA because after so many years it still receives so much media attention. Did you know that researching BPA was one of my reasons for starting Mommy Footprint 4 years ago? I had four children under the age of five and our world revolved around sippy cups, lunch containers and cooking utensils. The hype back at this time was water & baby bottles and discovering they contained BPA. Some countries like Canada banned the use of BPA in baby products, but have done little to ban it from other sources, aluminum cans for example.  If you want to think about BPA in the most simple of ways and then brain dump the info (my favorite thing to do) so that you can move your focus onto the next class of chemicals to reduce from your life, do two things:

Do not purchase or use plastic to drink or eat from. It’s very simple…there so many great options on the market now: stainless steel and glass are the best in my opinion because they are dishwasher safe and besides from small amounts of nickel that leach from stainless steel, they are stable materials to reuse. With kids think stainless steel because if dropped on the floor it bounces rather than glass that will of course break.  Everywhere I go, I still see toddlers drinking from plastic sippy cups.  The argument from parents would be that these cups were marketed as BPA-free. I don’t trust it because I’ve read reports that products have been tested that are sold as BPA-free and still contained BPA!  You are also never supposed to dishwash plastic because the high temperatures will break down the plastic composite and busy parents love the convenience of dishwashing.  At the bottom of this article, I will link to my articles about using melamine dishware, Tupperware products and why I don’t use them. I also don’t use food grade silicone in my kitchen – the research isn’t there for me yet that this material is stable enough to handle freezing and hot temperatures.  And yes, I’m making this longer than it needs to be….if you want to avoid BPA – don’t drink or eat from plastic. (Tips on doing this are listed at the bottom of the article)

The 2nd way to avoid BPA – don’t drink or eat from cans. Could it really be this simple?  Well it’s really not if you think about all the different purposes we use cans such as pop, tomato sauce, beans, convenience alphagettis, canned soup, aluminum water bottles, etc. Aluminum is toxic to humans so all cans need to be lined with a material to separate the liquid or food from touching the can – this is where BPA enters our food system. All cans are lined with an epoxy liner that contains BPA which is why levels of BPA are high in teenagers.  Think about all the coke, convenience food they eat. So before you cook or drink out of that can ask yourself two questions: ” can I make this from scratch rather than using a can?” (tomato sauce, soup, etc.) and “is there an alternative to how this food or drink is packaged?” (tomato sauce packaged in glass bottles, beer in glass, etc.) Science has recently suggested that BPA is linked to diabetes. What if our love for canned beer and coke have helped increase rates of diabetes?  So not just the sugary liquid is hurting our health by the way it’s packaged!!

Why do we need to avoid BPA? Even low dose exposure has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and because of the estrogen-like properties of BPA it’s also linked to breast & prostate cancer, early puberty, behavior problems, and reproduction issues.  Exposure to BPA doesn’t seem to just effect you while in the moment, unfortunately it’s a chemical that is found in our fetuses so the real cause for concern is how it effect babies with such small systems to process and flush a chemical such as BPA.  So for many people if you have older children this might need be the chemical at the top of the list to focus on for 2012 and how to reduce it. A chemical to be aware of for sure – but when stacked up to lead exposure, flame retardants, and PFC (non-stick)..there are definitely more toxic chemicals that exist with human health. With flame retardants being referred to as the asbestos of our generation…I feel like the education for the general public needs to advance away from BPA. Yes it’s a toxic chemical that effects human health but adults flush this chemical quite quickly from our systems. And this is why I write this article to start 2012. I see BPA mis-quoted all the time in social media when trying to avoid chemical exposure. In writing this article, if you are eliminating the two steps listed above with plastic contact to food/water and canned food you are eliminating much of your contamination from BPA. With the chemical being produced in the billions of tons each year, it’s already in our water system so exposure cannot be totally eliminated. But here at Mommy Footprint we like to control our own destiny, so this is my recommendation for those concerns with this chemical. Ditching water system jugs that are coded a 7, not reading newspapers and switching to receiving your news online (BPA is in newspaper print) and not taking printed receipts (receipt paper contains BPA) will also help you, but there are not as easy to eliminate as step 1 and 2 outlined above.

Here are more article and all of the articles I’ve written over the years on BPA can be found in this category: BPA Plastics

Below are some great reads to get your caught up on food and liquid preparation without BPA. Want to get caught up in the world of BPA exposure – these articles should do it!

BPA in Dental Sealant?
http://mommyfootprint.com/holistic-dentistry-mercury/

BPA Alternative with Ice Cube Trays:
http://mommyfootprint.com/mommy-footprint-chemical-free-ice-cubes/

Finding Food in Glass Jars: http://mommyfootprint.com/finding-food-in-glass-jars/

Plastic & Melamine: http://mommyfootprint.com/pssst-plastic-melamine-can-we-talk/

Tupperware & BPA: http://mommyfootprint.com/tupperware-bpa-2-years-later/

Alternatives To Freezing Food in Plastic: http://mommyfootprint.com/alternatives-to-freezing-food-in-plastic/

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Mommy Footprint’s New Format

Hello! With this post you’ll notice a new look to Mommy Footprint. After three years of growing this website, it has become a database containing hundreds of articles geared to parents on a greener journey with raising children. To mark Mommy Footprint’s third year, my friend and co-worker for the site recommended a make-over. I’m thrilled with the results and I think the site has a much cleaner, easier to read layout. I’d like to thank the countless subscribers and people that have supported this blog over the years – it’s very close to my heart and will always remain a place that is driven by content & research. I will always cover companies and products that are fabulous and I usually have a sponsor that I like to support with links to their site. These sponsors are compatible with my blog because I’ve found their products to be safe and I’m passionate about supporting them.

I’d like to say a special thanks to Dave Zille for 3 years of encouragement and technical support with Mommy Footprint. I often get asked by moms where they can get a blog template just like mine – Dave would be the person to contact…from setting up your own domain and working with you to customize your website requirements. Also a huge thanks to Marina Duque for the custom banner and new Twitter background that truly reflects where the focus of my writing comes from – my children. She’s very creative and works quickly…thank you so much!

Three years later I can answer my site’s tag-line “…what will your legacy be?” I hope my legacy will include children that learn respect for the environment and seek to find ways to improve the world they were born into. And for myself…everytime I learn about a new place chemicals exist – I think there couldn’t possibly be more. But there always is and wait for the day our children look at us proud that our generation turned the tide and made a difference for future generations with chemical exposure. Becoming a parent shouldn’t involve so much research and self-doubt about everything that surrounds our children. One day products sold on store shelves will be properly regulated and something toxic that’s a known carcinogen will not be sold! Before I feel a rant coming….I’ll stop. And just say “thank you” for the encouragement to keep writing and finding my own journey.

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