According to a recent
study by the Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute, both bisphenol
A (BPA) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) exposures “were substantially
reduced when participants’ diets were restricted to food with limited
BPA has been associated with effects on the developing brain, and breast
and prostate cancer in laboratory studies, while DEHP has been shown to
affect male reproductive development, sperm quality, and male hormone
levels in laboratory and human studies.
The study involved “20 participants in five families [who were selected]
based on self-reported use of canned and packaged foods.” These
families were directed to eat “their usual diet, followed by three
days of ‘fresh foods’ not canned or packaged in plastic.”
The results of urinary samples taken over the eight-day experiment reportedly
demonstrated a significant decrease in BPA and DEHP metabolites during
the fresh foods intervention.
According to the Silent Spring Institute, these findings indicate that
“food packaging is the major source of exposure to BPA and DEHP
in children and adults, and a fresh food diet reduces levels of these
chemicals by half, after just three days.”
If you are concerned about the potential harmful effects of BPA, here are
some tips to minimize your exposure provided by the Silent Spring Institute.
Fresh Is Best: BPA and phthalates can migrate from the linings of cans and plastic packaging
into food and drinks. While it’s not practical to avoid food packaging
altogether, opt for fresh or frozen instead of canned food as much as possible.
Eat In: Studies have shown that people who eat more meals prepared outside the
home have higher levels of BPA. To reduce your exposure, consider cooking
more meals at home with fresh ingredients. When you do eat out, choose
restaurants that use fresh ingredients.
Store It Safe: Food and drinks stored in plastic can collect chemicals from the containers,
especially if the foods are fatty or acidic. Next time, try storing your
leftovers in glass or stainless steel instead of plastic.
Don’t Microwave In Plastic: Warmer temperatures increase the rate of chemicals leaching into food and
drinks. So use heat-resistant glass or ceramic containers when you microwave,
or heat your food on the stove. The label “microwave safe”
means safety for the container, not your health.