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by Michele Zipp
It's terrifyingly clear that there are so many products that we cannot blindly trust. We have to research and be vigilant and worry about everything. It just comes with the territory of being a parent. It's exhausting, but parenthood is exhausting and wonderful at the same time, so we do what we have to do to keep our kids alive and well and thriving and not ingesting toxins that can seriously harm them. Enter one of our enemies BPA -- bispehnol A -- once commonly found in baby bottles and sippy cups and believed to disrupt the endocrine system, causing chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities and impairing brain functions.
The great BPA ban that went into effect in many places made us able to breathe a little easier, but it's still around along with DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl) and found in food packaging. It's not the food that it's packaged in that is necessarily making our kids obese, it's these toxins in the packaging itself.
Aside from getting your food from the farm or local CSA, which many of us cannot always do, what can we do here? Ban plastic in all its forms? What happens when we send our kids out into the big bad world and they eat in places whose food or drinks has traces of BPA and DEHP? We really cannot control everything. But the health risks associated with obesity are too great to ignore.
BPA and DEHP found in urinary concentrations of kids 6 to 18 showed a greater risk for obesity and insulin resistance, along with body mass index in the 95th percentile or higher and an abnormal waist circumference-to-height ratio. These toxins are shown to raise testosterone in men, and seriously affect the thyroid, along with an earlier risk of kidney and heart disease and diabetes.
This isn't what we want to hear. This is another thing to worry about.
Should BPA be banned in all drink containers and food packaging now? It's not just an issue for infants being exposed.
The study's researchers of course cautioned that more needs to be examined before anything is banned, but they also say that if we do our own ban of BPA and DEHP by using alternatives to plastic (wax paper and aluminum wrap is a better substitute) and not purchasing items in cans made of in this toxin as much as possible, we can reduce our exposure by up to 56 percent.
Does this BPA/obesity link worry you? What do you do to reduce exposure?
Image via Iwan Gabovitch/Flickr