You might’ve recently noticed a lot of new dishware, baby bottles, pacifiers, and other goods labeled as “BPA Free,” and for good reason. Bisphenol-A (BPA for short) is a compound, widely considered to be potentially toxic and hazardous to humans, that is used in water bottles, store receipts, soup cans, and plastic food packaging. It’s been tied by numerous studies to a variety of ills and problems, including breast and other cancers, early puberty, and infertility. There have even been recent reports of new studies linking the substance to childhood obesity, possibly because of a certain way in which BPA interferes with the body’s metabolic processes.

With this substance being so pervasive in our food supply and many kinds of food packaging products, it might seem frightening or impossible to get around BPA in your daily life. But there are some steps you can take that could help reduce your exposure to BPA by up to 60% or more:

  • Drink tap water, or invest in a low-cost stainless steel water bottle or BPA-free water bottle by brand names like Sigg or Nalgene. This is also an eco-friendly and money saving move!
  • Avoid microwaving in plastic containers or plastic containers from frozen meals. Instead, opt for fresh food cooked in ceramic (microwave-safe) bowls or glass containers, or put the contents of your microwaveable frozen meal in such a BPA-free container and then cook it.
  • Avoid canned foods that aren’t labeled as having a BPA-free lining or packaging. This can be tricky, but if you have access to a Whole Foods Market, Earthfare, or similar natural-living store, you should be able to find responsibly packaged goods. If not, try frozen vegetables in lieu of canned, or try making your own soup base from fresh foods (instead of canned).
  • Invest in a set of glass refrigerator containers (with BPA-free plastic lids) for holding your leftovers – these are not terribly expensive and are now commonly available right next to their old plastic (and BPA containing) counterparts in your local store.

Due to how common BPA is in our modern world, in food pre-processing, and in packaging, you’ll undoubtedly come into contact with it somewhere. But by taking steps to limit your exposure, you can protect yourself and your family from this suspicious and potentially hazardous compound.

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