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Canada Bans BPA, Food Containers Get Safer

Food and liquid containers just got safer. Canada leads the way worldwide in declaring bisphenol A (BPA) a toxic substance.

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BPA Declared Toxic

The Canadian Health and Environment Ministries recently declared bisphenol A (BPA) as a toxic substance which poses substantial danger to human health. With this declaration, Canada became the first country in the world to ban BPA. This decision is relevant to the United States, where several states have already banned the chemical from containers and there is a rising movement to buy goods that are BPA free.

In small quantities, BPA does not pose a major threat to adults, because a healthy person’s endocrine system is able to flush out the toxin found in BPA. Children, babies, and fetuses are not able to efficiently dispose of BPA, though, which leads to brain development problems, cancer, birth defects, learning problems, obesity, and even the early onset of puberty. For these reasons, several states have already banned BPA from baby bottles.

However, the problem with BPA is its presence in a huge array of food and liquid containers, as well as some surprising places like DVDs, sunglasses, receipt papers, cigarette filters, refrigerator shelves, and many more. It is so ubiquitous that even though adults can rid themselves of the chemical, the constant exposure to BPA makes the endocrine’s actions irrelevant. In fact, 93% of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their urine.

Protecting Yourself

The danger of BPA has been in the news often, but legislation to ban it from American markets will face a long battle with plastics lobbyists. Until a decision is reached, Kristin Wartman, a nutrition educator at Bauman College and Civil Eats correspondent outlines some steps you can take to protect yourself from this toxin and other endocrine disruptors:

  • Eat fresh, whole, organic foods as often as possible to reduce your exposure to pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and artificial bovine growth hormones.
  • Avoid processed foods and beverages, which often contain additives like artificial sweeteners and MSG, and are often in packaged in plastic.
  • Store food and beverages in glass containers only.
  • Do not use non-stick or plastic cookware.
  • Only use natural cleaning products and natural brands of toiletries.
  • Don’t use artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, or other synthetic fragrances.
  • Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric.
  • Filter your tap water.

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Julie Rooney

Julie Rooney is a vegetarian, musician, and artist who primarily works in video and new media. Currently she is the director of Low Road Gallery, a non-profit contemporary art gallery located in Greencastle, Indiana.

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