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Avoid BPA-Laden Plastics for Food Storage

Research has shown that exposure to BPA , a known “endocrine disruptor” that can mimic the body’s natural hormones, can lead to neurological and reproductive problems. While many consumers have made the switch from plastic water bottles containing BPA, there is still BPA in plastic storing, heating and serving containers marked, “#7” on the bottom of the product.

Public health advocates recommend not using containers marked with #7 so as to minimize the amount of BPA in our bloodstreams. But keeping BPA out of our bodies is an uphill battle: A recent study found that 96 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. have at least trace amounts of BPA in their systems already (and probably the rest of us do as well).

Many bottle and container makers are now marketing versions of their plastic products that are BPA-free. But to complicate matters further, a July 2011 study by a group of Texas-based researchers and published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that just because a plastic product is marked “BPA-free” doesn’t guarantee that it won’t leach other endocrine disrupting chemicals—what the study refers to as “estrogenic activity” or “EA”—into food or drinks. In some cases, BPA-free products released greater amounts of estrogenic chemicals than even products known to contain BPA.

In light of all this information, consumers might want to just opt for food storage and preparation items made of tried and true plastic-free materials, such as glass or stainless steel.

Westport, Conn.-based EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine .

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