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Two moms trying to raise their families a little greener, a little healthier, and with a whole lot of love. All this while trying to save a little green along the way. Product reviews, green ideas, money-saving tips, and more!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Just say no to BPA!

As my husband and I were reading the paper this morning, he came across a new article about the infamous BPA. Bisphenol A (BPA) is added to plastics to make it stronger and crystal clear. This plastic was once used heavily in baby bottles (a mere year ago it was the norm!) and still is used heavily in food packaging and can liners. Over the past decade, however, numerous scientific studies have linked BPA exposure to breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hyperactivity, miscarriages, the list goes on and on.

On the other hand, most manufacturers that use BPA do not believe the health concerns and have no intention of changing their packaging. Rather than working to eliminate their usage or find alternatives to BPA, the manufacturers of canned food and beverages are ready and willing to spend half a million dollars on a PR campaign targeted toward young moms to knock down the growing public concerns surrounding the chemical. Using scare tactics (don't you want your baby to have food to eat??) and spinning 'control' back to the end-user (you can spend more on the fresh variety or save your precious money and purchase the canned), the industry execs plan to have a young, pregnant woman as the spokesperson delivering the message. I was appalled!

Since the big guys (manufacturers) have no intention to stop using BPA and the slow-moving government legislation is doing little to safeguard its citizens,
how can we as consumers consciously reduce our usage of BPA?
I have worked to remove most BPA from our household over the past year and it is something that is fairly easy to avoid. For instance, our old Nalgene water bottles have been replaced with the newer versions that clearly tout "BPA free" on the packaging or stainless steel bottles. Any reusable plastic food containers have been replaced with glass or safe plastic (these #s are generally considered safe: 2, 4, 5- the recycling numbers on the bottom). Food that I may have once purchased in cans that contained BPA (you'll notice the inside of the can is lined with a milky white plastic) I now purchase fresh or frozen (and, hey, it tastes better too!). When purchasing bottles for my son last year, I sought out BPA free versions. Now, you'll find when you go into Babies R Us (at least my store here in Colorado), the entire infant feeding section is BPA free- I applaud Babies R Us for (finally) taking a stance against BPA! For a great synopsis on the different types of plastics, how easily they are recyclable and how safe they are, check out this
site. If you are going to avoid one type of plastic, it should be the #7 plastic- this is a catch-all code, so you never know WHAT is actually in that plastic and lots of plastics with BPA fall under this code.

Until the government flat out restricts the usage of BPA, the controversy and marketing schemes will continue, so lets spread the word and play it safe... just say no to BPA!


  1. I bought all new baby bottles, Nalgenes, etc., then was so demoralized to find that BPA is in every canned product I buy. I've tried to cut my canned purchases, but we use a lot of tomatoes and beans, and I'm too frugal to buy Eden Foods. Thanks for a great post!

  2. Michelle- I get some canned tomatoes at Costco that are not lined with BPA- safe, cheap, and organic! I will go check the brand next time I am in the pantry.