Here at Yoli’s Green Living, we have been large supporters of the plastic free movement, especially in food. Another small study has surfaced to support how plastics, in particular BPA, is detrimental to overall health and wellness.
New research suggests that high levels of BPA, a chemical in many plastics and canned food linings, might raise the risk of miscarriage in women prone to that problem or having trouble getting pregnant.
The work is not nearly enough to prove a link, but it adds to “the biological plausibility” that BPA might affect fertility and other aspects of health, said Dr. Linda Giudice, a California biochemist who is president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The study was to be presented Monday at the group’s annual conference in Boston. Last month, ASRM and an obstetricians group urged more attention to environmental chemicals and their potential hazards for pregnant women.
Researchers analyzed blood samples from when the women were discovered to be pregnant and divided them into four groups based on BPA levels. Women in the top quarter had an 80 percent greater risk of miscarriage compared to those in the bottom group even though they were similar in age and other factors. However, because the study is relatively small, there was a big range of possible risk — from only slightly elevated to as much as 10 times higher.
“It may be that women with higher BPA levels do have other risk factors” for miscarriage that might be amplified by BPA, Lathi said.
While the study is small, the effects of BPA are well known which is why you may have seen some companies touting that they are BPA free. While this is a good start, it may not be enough to avoid. Here are some tips that I’ve offered in my talks and on the site to reduce your exposure.
Use glass storage containers for your food. Many containers come with plastic lids so ensure your food is low enough not to touch the lid and remove the lid when reheating food. I am not a microwave user and do not advocate for it, but if you must use, remove the lid. Click here for a list of plastic free food storage options.
At every speaking engagement on sustainable living, I always use the example of the plastic water bottle left in the car on a hot day. The water bottle starts to shrivel up and contort. That is because the plastic bottle is made from chemicals and formed using heat so it makes sense that heat would break it down. In that instance, the chemicals are being broken down and they have only two areas to go: into your water and minor evaporation. So do you want to drink the actual water bottle? I think no. Check out Another Factor of Obesity: Plastics for some water bottle alternatives.
Should bottled water be your only option (ie you forgot your water steel/glass water bottle or you’re at an event where that is the only option), make sure the bottle is at or below room temperature. Completely avoid water bottles that have been exposed to heat (sun, hot room etc).
More and more companies are opting to choose bpa free linings for their canned foods so read labels.
One of the suggestions by Dr. Giudice is to avoid handling cash register receipts which are often coated with resins that contain BPA. While in some instances this may be a challenge, some stores are offering options like emailing you a receipt vs printing which is great for avoid the BPA resin and saves paper.
Another option is to have the cashier place the receipt in the bag with your item or have them throw it out immediately if you are sure you won’t need it. At the 4th street food cooperative in NYC, customers are always asked if they want a copy of the receipt, therefor allowing the option not to have one at all.
Include the above habits in your day to day living to reduce and it will support you in reducing your exposure to BPAs. What other ways have you reduced plastics in your life?