You might think two people addressing the same problem, looking at the same data would draw the same conclusions, but life just isnít that easy. Special interests often have too much at stake.
Take bisphenol A (BPA) for example. A new study published in the Journal of American Medical Association links Bisphenol A exposure in adults to increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This study found adults with the highest concentration of bisphenol A in their blood were twice as likely as those with the lowest concentration to have diabetes and cardiovascular disease (keeping in mind that over 90 percent of us have bisphenol A in our blood at this very moment according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
This study is one of many that link low level bisphenol A exposure to a host of adverse health effects. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other industry groups point out that the studies are not conclusive, and surprise, surprise MORE RESEARCH IS NEEDED (which is a classic delay tactic). Iím sure there conclusions have nothing to due with the huge profitability and growth of bisphenol A use.
At some point, we all need to make our own decisions about what is safe and what isnít. To me, there seems to be plenty of evidence against bisphenol A to warrant its removal from my life. The same can be said for several other substances as well like the materials used to make non-stick pans. PFOA, a chemical used in non-stick, has been listed as a likely human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Industry will never admit they are exposing the population to a hazardous carcinogen, but they are phasing its use out by 2015.
What can we do to minimize our exposure?
1. Get rid of #7 recyclable plastics. This type of plastic usually contains bisphenol A.
2. Check baby bottles to make sure they are bisphenol A-free.
3. If you have #7 plastics, donít microwave them or wash them in the dishwasher. Heating them up will accelerate the release of bisphenol A.
4. Ditch the non-stick pans. Life will truly be more miserable, but you will be cutting down your exposure to PFOA.
5. Choose certified organic beauty care products including shampoos that are paraben-free (another chemical under some suspicion).
6. Choose furniture wisely. Try to find mattresses and couches that do not use brominated flame retardants (yet another chemical associated with adverse health effects).
We may not be able to totally eliminate our exposure to these chemicals, but with some minor effort and perhaps a little inconvenience, we can definitely reduce our exposure to them.