Why go BPA-free?

embrace-life-waterbottles“BPA free” has become something many people are aware of and on the lookout for. Interestingly enough, most people however have no idea why they are avoiding it and what this “BPA” is. Even more interesting is the fact that many who are paying so much attention to buying BPA-free things are unknowingly covering themselves with sunblock with similar substances or often eat canned food which is contains high amounts of BPA.

So what is this fuss about BPA?

BPA is short for Bisphenol A, which is part of a group of substances called “hormone disruptors”. Hormone disruptors are a group of chemicals, which can be found in anything from food to medicine to air pollution, that act like synthetic estrogens/female hormones in our bodies. These substances have the potential to:

  • Interfere with normal hormone balance in women
  • Lower testosterone in men and interfere with sexual function in men
  • Cause blood sugar regulation problems
  • Interfere with fertility in both men and women
  • Impair thyroid function
  • Increase the risk of having a miscarriage
  • Increase cancer risk

It is easy to see why you would want to reduce your exposure to BPA!

Our environment has become so full of hormone disruptors it is impossible to avoid them completely, however, being well informed is still empowering. Only by being very well informed can you significantly reduce your hormone disruptor and BPA exposure.

Here is a list to start with. Have a look and start changing your life and our environment today:

  1. Chemical sunblocks

a. Most sunblocks which are absorbed (disappear) into your skin have one of these strong hormone disruptors as an active ingredient:

  • ¾-Methylbenzylidene-camphor (4-MBC)
  • octyl-methycinnamate (OMC)
  • octyl-dimethyl-PABA (OD-PABA)
  • bexophenome-3 (Bp-3)
  • homosalate (HMS)

There are very few sunblocks on the market that are hormone disruptor free. The good ones mostly use non-nano zinc oxide as a sunblock together with herbal and micronutrient skin protection. Click here for a great selection of hormone disruptor free sunblocks available in South Africa.

  1. Most of the commercial air fresheners on the market contain hormone disruptors.
  2. Aluminium when in excess acts as a hormone disruptor. Aluminium is often used:
    1. As an anti-caking agent in standard baking powders
    2. In antiperspirant deodorant
    3. In antacid medicine
  3. Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy
  4. Growth stimulants in mass produced meat, dairy and eggs
  5. BHA and BHT
    1. Found in medications, such as certain statins (cholesterol medication)
    2. Often used as a preservative in food (E320) and cosmetics, such as body lotions, moisturisers, shaving creams and sunscreens.
  6. BPA
    1. Used in plastic, such as water bottles
    2. Thermal paper contains BPA – such as till slips
    3. BPA is used in the lining of food and drink cans

Click here for a great selection of stainless steel hormone disruptor free water bottles.

  1. Insecticides often contain hormone disruptors. Avoid using insect sprays in your home.
  2. Dry cleaning chemicals include hormone disruptors.
  3. Fabric softeners typically contain hormone disruptors.
  4. Farmed fish: Fish feed contains hormone disruptors as preservatives. This can still be found in the actual fish.
  5. Plastic wrap: Hormone disruptors are used as plastic softeners.
  6. Most commercial laundry detergents contain hormone disruptors.
  7. Parabens, used as preservatives in cosmetics, are hormone disruptors.

This is a just a list to get started with and to help you reduce your exposure to hormone disruptors. Avoiding these chemicals involves reading labels beyond the marketing straplines and to the point of actually reading the ingredients lists.

Do your best to reduce your exposure to BPA as much as possible. Don`t be discouraged by the fact that it is obviously impossible to avoid it perfectly. Avoiding it to a great extent already can make a very big difference.

Now that you understand why you were going BPA-free, go one step further: Go hormone-disruptor free!