by Wendy Gabriel
The Christopher Gabriel Program is giving away a fabulous gift every week day from December 1st to December 24th. THE GREEN COOKING/BAKING GIVEAWAY IS TODAY (12/16/2009)! Donated by My Green Side, the prize is a fabulous The Christopher Gabriel Program canvas tote filled with an awesome cookbook, The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook Food to Live By and some of my favorite organic ingredients including some organic chocolate chips. LISTEN TO WIN FROM 9AM TO NOON CT!
GREEN TIP: Avoid ingesting bisphenol A (BPA) – especially pregnant women, infants and children. ~Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, quoted in an exclusive interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
What is bisphenol A (BPA)?
BPA is a plastics chemical invented nearly 120 years ago and currently used in enormous amounts to manufacture hard plastic water bottles and to make epoxy linings of metal food cans, like those for canned infant formula. Although its long-time use in consumer products has come with assurances of its safety from industry, studies conducted over the past 20 years now show it to be not only a ubiquitous pollutant in the human body – it contaminates nearly 93% of the population – but also a potent developmental toxin at very low doses.
Why avoid BPA?
Health concerns include heart disease, breast and prostate cancer, infertility, diabetes, liver problems and attention deficit disorder.
How to avoid BPA:
- Do not do not use plastic containers when reheating or storing leftovers.Use glass or ceramic containers. This is especially important because, according to University of Missouri-Columbia scientist, Frederick Vom Saal, plastics made with BPA break down easily when heated, microwaved, washed with strong detergents or wrapped around acidic foods like tomatoes.
- Do not used products that are packaged in cans (i.e., soups, tomatoes, sodas, vegetables, fruits, meats). BPA is in the resin that lines a lot of canned goods. Use fresh or frozen ingredients over canned whenever possible. Drink tap or filtered water and drinks packaged in glass bottles.
- Do not use liquid baby formulas. All U.S. manufacturers use BPA-based lining on the metal portions of the formula containers. Tests of liquid formulas by FDA and EWG show that BPA leaches into the formula from all brands tested. Enfamil formula appears to have the highest concentrations of the 20 tests. EWG is concerned about BPA exposures for babies fed liquid formula. Choose powdered formula which may not have BPA in packaging and which is more diluted with water. If your baby needs liquid formula look for types sold in plastic or glass containers.
- Do not use #7 plastics, especially for children’s food.Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2 and #4 on the bottom are safer choices and do not contain BPA. Find baby bottles in glass versions, or those made from the safer plastics including polyamine, polypropylene and polyethylene. Soft or cloudy-colored plastic does not contain BPA. Bottles used to pump and store expressed breast milk by the brand Medela are also labeled BPA-free.
- Do not use metal water bottles that are lined with a plastic coating that contains BPA. Look for stainless steel bottles that do not have a plastic liner.
Source: Environmental Working Group
In Canada and throughout Europe, a chemical must be proven safe before it’s allowed to be used in commerce.
In the United States, chemicals are allowed on the market and removed only if they have been found to cause harm.
It seems clearer every day that plastic is bad for our health and bad for our environment. I encourage everyone to educate yourselves on current news regarding plastics and before you buy another plastic item ask yourself if there is a better alternative.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has done a fabulous series on chemicals and their impact on our health:
Warning: Chemicals in the packaging, surfaces or contents of many products may cause long-term health effects, including cancers of the breast, brain and testicles; lowered sperm counts, early puberty and other reproductive system defects; diabetes; attention deficit disorder, asthma and autism. A decade ago, the government promised to test these chemicals. It still hasn’t.
My Green Side’s weekly web pick:
The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.
Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a different favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (Central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.