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Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Bisphenols (incl. BPA & BPS)

On 13.05.2013 by Tracey Tipping

If hiding in a cave isn't an option for you (!!), then here are my top 5 tips on avoiding the Bisphenol group of chemicals (including BPA):

1. Don't Eat Canned Foods

Canned foods are lined with an epoxy resin that contains BPA to ensure that the internal contents don't come into contact with the metal.

Unfortunately, there is growing evidence that the BPA leaches into the internal contents instead. In fact, a Harvard study found that a "group of volunteers who consumed a serving of canned soup each day for 5 days had a more than 1,000% increase in urinary BPA concentrations compared with when the same individuals consumed fresh soup daily for five days".

While some companies are now using a BPA-free epoxy resin for their cans (Inspiration Green has a great list of who is & who isn't), it is worth checking if their cans are "Bisphenol-free" as some companies are replacing BPA with other Bisphenols (see my earlier post on this).

For my part, I have never been keen on the idea of my food being stored for months (or years!) in an epoxy resin lined can because it seems that things that are considered safe now turn out to be not-so-safe down the track, plus I really prefer fresh, local, organic food!

Tips to Avoiding Canned Foods:

  • Canned tomatoes are probably the most critical canned food to cut out, because the high acidity of the tomatoes leaches the highest amount of BPA (see: "The 7 Foods Experts Won't Eat"). If I can't use fresh tomatoes, then I use tomato passata or tomato paste in glass bottles (and while the lids contain BPA, it comes into minimal contact with the food, so the exposure is substantially less).
  • I now only use dried beans, and although the soaking & cooking phase is longer than with canned beans I find that as long as I'm organised and start soaking my beans the night before then I am good to go!

* For those yummy curries, I now use coconut milk powder rather than canned coconut milk and I find it quick & easy to use. I believe you can also make your own coconut milk from dessicated coconut, but that's a bit more time consuming.

* I am not a very fishy person (perhaps its all the mercury that has put me off!), so although I used to love tinned tuna between the BPA in the cans and the mercury in the tuna I can't really justify eating it anymore. If you can't live without canned fish try to opt for low mercury fish (like sardines or salmon) canned in BPA / Bisphenol free cans instead.

2. Never Use "Liquid" Baby Formula from a Metal Can

Tests in the United States & Canada have found that BPA has leached from the cans into “liquid” baby formula, whereas similar testing on "powdered" baby formula has found no detectable levels of BPA in the powder.

* If possible and practicable try to opt for powdered baby formula over liquid formula, or only use liquid formula sold in glass bottles (while the lids are still likely to contain BPA the exposure will be less).

* Additionally, it is well worth contacting your favourite baby formula suppliers and asking them directly if their cans are lined with BPA or other Bisphenols.

3. Don't Reuse "Disposable" Plastic Bottles & Food Packaging

Disposable plastic bottles, food packaging & utensils have been designed to be used once only, which means that the structure of the plastic becomes damaged within a few washes / uses.

* Once the structure of the plastic is damaged, it starts leaching chemicals (like BPA) into the contents of your bottle or container.

* In addition, the tiny cracks and crevices that develop quickly in disposable food packaging (particularly in disposable plastic bottles) makes them a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Leaching chemicals + bacteria, yum yum...

So, if you have to use disposable plastic bottles & food packaging always place it in a recycle bin after its first use.

Better still - choose reusable water bottles & food packaging made from glass & stainless steel instead!

4. Choose Glass & Stainless Steel Baby Bottles over Plastic

While lots of baby bottle manufacturers have finally gotten on board (or been dragged on board!) with with the whole BPA-free thing, there is growing concern that BPA in baby bottles is being replaced with other Bisphenols like BPS.

* When I was originally deciding whether to sell BPA-free plastic baby bottles in Eternal Source, I asked myself the simple question - "Would I use BPA-free plastic baby bottles with my kids?" - and for me the answer was NO.

* Despite the BPA-free tick, I just wasn't convinced that BPA-free meant chemical-free and it seems that with these new claims about BPS replacing BPA my original instincts were well founded.

Plus, with such fantastic glass and stainless steel baby bottles on the market its hard to feel like you are being deprived by saying no to plastic!

But, if you really can't survive without your plastic baby bottles, then always choose BPA / BPS / Bisphenol-free baby bottles and throw your plastic bottles out at the first sign of scratching or wear to minimize other chemicals leaching into the liquid.

5. Say No to Aluminium Drink Bottles

Like canned food, Aluminium drink bottles are lined with an epoxy resin to ensure that the internal liquid doesn’t come into contact with the aluminium.

While some manufacturers have come up with BPA-free epoxy resins for their bottles, these linings are often protected by patents so we have no way of really knowing whether they are Bisphenol-free or what other chemicals may or may not be lurking in the bottles.

For my part, I always prefer to use glass water bottles or unlined stainless steel bottles instead!

A Few Extra Tips for the Super-Keen!

* If you must use a microwave, never heat food in your microwave using cling wrap as cling wrap contains BPA. Choose BPA free cling wrap instead.

* Don't let babies chew on plastic toys, unless the toy says "Bisphenol-free". Why not opt for gorgeous organic cotton baby toys instead!

* If you handle a lot of cash register receipts (this is especially relevant for those working in the retail industry) ask your employer if the receipts are coated in Bisphenols, and if so, consider wearing gloves or wash your hands regularly through the day (and especially before eating).

* If you need a filing at the dentist, ask if they can do a Bisphenol-free filing for you. Luckily, my natural dentist was able to give me a BPA-free filing last time I needed one (hopefully it doesn't contain another Bisphenol though as I didn't know to ask at that time if it was Bisphenol-Free!)

Well, there you have it - my top 5 tips for avoiding Bisphenols in your daily routine. I really hope this helps and if you have any additional tips on how we can all avoid Bisphenols please let me know!!


This post was posted in Bisphenol A (BPA), Bisphenols, Reducing you Eco Footprint and was tagged with BPA, Exposure to BPA, Bisphenol S (BPS), Bisphenols, Bisphenol F (BPF)