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Reducing Your Exposure to BPA

Bisphenol A has been used in plastic and epoxy since the 1950s. In some cases, alternatives are available. Consider these tips, especially if you are or may become pregnant or are choosing a product for a child.

Avoid reusable polycarbonate plastic water and baby bottles. As a general rule, avoid water bottles and baby bottles labeled #7 PC, which tend to be hard and clear. Many reusable water bottles are made of polycarbonate plastic that leaches bisphenol A into the water. Choose glass, stainless steel or BPA-free polypropylene (PP #5) bottles.  Discard old or damaged bottles. 

Avoid polycarbonate plastic food containers and table ware. These may be labeled ‘PC’ underneath a plastic code #7 in the recycling triangle on the bottom of the container. (The #7 means ‘other’, so you need to see the ‘PC’ to confirm that the plastic is polycarbonate).

Minimize the use of canned foods and canned drinks. Until industry reformulates the lacquer lining of metal cans (as is being done in Japan), choose fresh or frozen foods or glass containers or bottles. A recent study by Environmental Working Group found bisphenol A in more than half of 97 cans of brand name fruit, vegetables, soda, and other common canned goods.86

Ask your dentist for BPA-free sealants and composite fillings. Some dental resins are free from or low in BPA. Ask your dentist if they know about BPA and request the MSDS sheet (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the sealants or composite fillings, and avoid fillings that contain BADGE (bisphenol A diglycidyl ether) in the list of ingredients. Dental health is essential to good health: make sure your family brushes and flosses regularly!

Choose not to take a receipt. BPA is found in many other everyday items, including the thermal paper commonly used in the U.S. for cash register receipts. The chemical is getting onto dollar bills, possibly when receipts are stashed into wallets. Choose not to take a receipt, to store receipts separate from paper money.  Wash your hands after handling receipts, but don’t use a hand sanitizer, which can actually increase your exposure to BPA.

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