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Reducing Exposure to Suspicious Products Now

Reducing Exposure to Suspicious Products Now

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.

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Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 10 years of experience working in the environmental and occupational health field. In addition to writing, he is currently the Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a medium-sized company that has been voted one of Fortune Magazineís Best Places to Work For and one of CRO Magazineís 100 Best Corporate Citizens. He lives in California with his wife and adopted pound puppy.


+ add your own
12:23PM PST on Nov 5, 2012

Earth Cry

9:58AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

It is all around us. I believe that the BPA in the baby bottles is what has added to the cause of ADHD and Autism.

Agree with Jane W about the mercury in fillings. Extremely toxic but the Dental ASSN has a party line that it's not because if they admitted it then they'd be liable.

Just horrid that these people keep producing all this crap. And I don't trust the FDA at all.

9:20AM PDT on Jun 5, 2011


7:23AM PDT on Sep 26, 2010

Check out this author's profile. Mr. Peterson says he wants to educate people so they can live safer, greener lives, but he's not telling us anything about his academic or scientific credentials.
Then he implies that the FDA is being bought off by industry to allow BPA use. Just what we need, another conspiracy theory aimed at the only agency we have that actually tries to protect consumers! If you truly believe the FDA is corrupt, then I challenge you to become a "mole" there and blow the whistle on any corruption you discover. Unfounded allegations and pseudoscience are responsible for such tragedies as children dying because they weren't vaccinated, so please have proof before you post accusations.
Seriously, Care2 editors and writers, when is the last time any of you actually subjected your articles to rigorous scientific scrutiny? We don't need writers who pick up trendy topics and rumors from the internet and dumb them down, we need accurate reporting from genuine scientists and medicine professionals.

7:21AM PDT on Sep 24, 2010

I was shocked to discover that Motts and Musselmans applesauce and fruit containers, aimed at healthy snacking for children are packaged in #7 plastic. Also, we recycle everything so when you recycle #7 plastic and they heat this stuff up how much is released into the system again.

1:54AM PDT on Sep 15, 2010

I live by the credo, "If in doubt, throw it out".

5:29PM PST on Feb 25, 2010

I find it so hard to believe that things are being made that can harm us. Almost seems as though THEY want us to become sick and diseased. Must be why the predictions for the future as far as job markets go will be in the field of health care. Did SOMEONE(S) plan this? Just gotta wonder...

9:16AM PST on Feb 24, 2010

great ideas here

7:21PM PDT on Oct 14, 2008

A few people asked what is plastic #7. Plastic #7 is the official "other" category for plastic. A friend of mine described it as the hot dog of plastics - it contains a little bit of everything. Plastic #7 is often made of bisphenol A based polycarbonate, and bisphenol A is the chemical linked with endocrine disruption and a variety of other adverse health effects. Safer alternatives include plastics #2, #4 and #5.

10:44AM PDT on Oct 3, 2008

Check out the end of this article for a list of plastics to avoid:

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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