Have you been keeping up with the latest about plastic?
I don't watch the news, I don't often read the paper. I get most of my news when something jumps out at me from my Google Homepage, or if I read about it on one of my forums. One parenting forum has been all a-buzz lately with talk about plastic.
More specifically, it's BPA that is causing a stir. BPA is bisphenol-a, a chemical used in some types of plastic. Apparently it leaches into food and liquids (especially hot stuff) and can cause all sorts of health problems, including hormonal and developmental issues, tumor growth and cancer.
I usually pay no attention to the health hype of the week, simply because the way it normally goes is that by next week it won't be as bad as it sounded and there will be something else gonna make us all die. Plus, plastic is everywhere. Is it really realistic to stop using it? Heck, it's in our mouths; two of my kids got dental sealants last week and will be getting it in their fillings next. Hmm, which of the three dental options to go for...mercury, plastic or rotten teeth? I can stop buying canned soup (BPA is widely used in the liners of food cans) and make my own. I can store it in those Ziploc containers...nope. Baggies? No....Tupperware? They refuse to comment, so who knows...So yeah, homemade soup is initially healthier for us but ultimately it all goes into the plastic somehow. I can't afford to buy everything in glass containers. I can't afford to buy everything fresh, although I do buy lots fresh, and bring it home to store in....plastic.
I hope you get my point. It is simply not realistic for me to completely be rid of this, even if I try as hard as I can. I'm guessing it's the same for most families. And will getting rid of a little make any difference at all? Well, the jury is out on that.
But one of the effects of this is cancer and tumor growth. My Dad already has cancer, as we found out last month, so I did tell him about this so he can make informed choices. He is opting for alternative treatment for now, so he's eating everything fresh. But storing it in plastic, of course. No-win situation.
Apparently some of the biggest risk is to young and unborn babies. Pregnant moms - please keep an eye on your plastic use. Bottle feeding moms - it's in most plastic bottles, so you may want to switch. Wal-Mart has already pulled bottles off their shelves, unless stated to be BPA free. Some ARE BPA free already, so do check! AND it is still in the liners of the formula cans. Powder is best. Canada is about to declare BPA as toxic and ban its use in baby bottles (although baby bottles seem to be the only item it will be banned in for now).
Guide to Baby-Safe Bottles & Formula
I will take this moment to get up on my soapbox and suggest breastfeeding! I nursed all my babies, including the triplets who never had a single drop of formula.
Also, check your plastic sippy cups, plates, cutlery.
NOT ALL PLASTICS CONTAIN BPA!!!
Most plastic items have a number, usually found on the bottom of an item, inside a little triangle like this:
The numbers are one through seven. The "bad" numbers - the BPA plastics - are 3, 6, and 7. Here is a list:
Which Plastics Are Safe?
Here are some links..I still can't find a whole lot, but these seem to be informative:
FDA reviewing plastic ingredient BPA
Study of Chemical in Plastic Bottles Raises Alarm
Canada likely to label plastic ingredient BPA 'toxic'
Toxic designation would not force bisphenol A off shelves
Cigarettes, asbestos, lead paint...among others were all once in common use until the dangers were really known. This won't be the last. As one mom on the parenting board said, parents used to load up their newborn infant in the car at the hospital, with no car seat, and drive home with the windows up and cigarettes lit. To put to bed in the crib painted with lead paint. Never knowing how dangerous it was. At least now, the parents who still do things like that have no excuse to say they "didn't know". It's all about information to make our choices. I don't know yet what to do about plastic. I have a fortune tied up in Tupperware. But I can use the information here to at least choose not to freeze or heat foods in dangerous plastics. I can choose to replace water bottles with safer ones. I can't eliminate it, but I can lessen it if I choose. I sought out this info to help me make choices for my family. I am posting it in case it may help someone else to do the same.
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