Posts Tagged ‘cans’

Over Exposure

April 8, 2015

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We all know about the health risks associated with BPA ( Bisphenol A ) which is thought to potentially cause cancer, endocrine disorders and cardiovascular issues. Exposure to BPA during the second trimester of pregnancy could negatively impact brain development and hormone levels of fetuses.

The chemical is found in hard plastics, such as those used for water bottles, paper reciepts and the lining of many cans. Due to its toxicity, scientists have scrambled to find a replacement.
The new chemical, BPS, is currently being scrutinized and there is concern that it could be even more hazardous to our health than its predecessor. Not only is it thought to have similar negative effects on our bodies, it also stays around longer, due to its strengthened resistance to environmental degradation. Researchers currently estimate that 88% of the population has traces of BPS in their urine.

While we live in a chemically treated society and it is impossible to completely avoid exposure to these chemicals, there are some steps we can take to cut down the amount of exposure we incur.

Ditch the plastic containers. Opt for reusable glass versions for food storage, and metal or glass bottles for water.

If you must use plastic containers, never microwave food in them, or put them in the dishwasher. The change in temperature releases the harmful gasses. Never leave plastic water bottles in the sun. Transfer food to glass or ceramic dishes to reheat.

Wash your hands after handling register reciepts, or accept the paperless option where available.

Purchase milk, juice and other liquids in glass jars or paper cartons. Where possible, opt for tetra packed items, instead of cans. Tomatoes are especially acidic, and cause the chemicals in the lining of the cans to leach into the foods. If you must use cans, try to find those labeled BPA free.

While all of these options can be more costly, it is a small price to pay to lower your risk for deadly diseases.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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How Safe Are Our Household Products?

April 17, 2013

cleaning, chemicals, gloves

Most of us assume that the chemicals we use in our homes have been tested by the government and deemed safe. The cleaning products, food packages and even lotions, soaps and shampoo that are purchased commercially, are laden with chemicals, which may be causing us long-term harm.

While pharmaceuticals and pesticides are subject to government testing, industrial chemicals are not.

In a recent article in the New York Times, it brings to light that the Toxic Substances Control Act, adopted in the 1970s is in dire need of an update.

Under the current policy, companies are required to notify the Environmental Protection Agency before it imports or manufactures a new chemical. They are not required to provide any safety data, unless specifically requested by the agency, which needs to show factors for potential risk. If no steps are taken to block the new chemical within 90 days, it is automatically cleared.

As time goes on, we are becoming increasingly aware of chemical substances that are used in many of our day-to-day products. BPAs in the lining of cans and plastic bottles, flame retardant or stain repellant coatings on textiles and nonylphenols in soaps and shampoos, are just a few of the toxins we are exposed to daily. Even infant care staple, Johnson’s baby shampoo came under scrutiny last year, for the carcinogens used to in their product.

Last week, 2 Senators proposed a bill called the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013, which would require companies to prove that a chemical is safe, and limit the use of those which are considered “of great concern.”

The bill is backed by 25 Democratic Senators, and supported by environmentalists. It is opposed by the chemical industry, and the Republicans are working on a competing bill that is expected to win the support of the chemical companies.

In the meantime, it is prudent to know what is in the products we use, and to seek alternatives that are safer.

photo: Glasshouse Images


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