A recent article by Nicholas D. Kristof in the New York Times finally addresses the fact that common chemicals in our environment “may be even more harmful than previously thought. It seems that they may damage us in ways that are transmitted generation after generation, imperiling not only us but also our descendants.
Although carefully worded, it counts as an urgent wake-up call by mainstream media to avoid these endocrine disruptors that mess up the hormones in the body’s endocrine system. The worst culprit is BPA (bisphenol-A) that mimics estrogen and is nowadays overwhelmingly present rather than absent in our lives; it is found in most plastic items, including water bottles, virtually in all canned food, even in ATM receipts and – most alarming – in the urine of more than 90% of the American population.
People are primarily exposed to BPA on a daily basis through food and beverages, as it leaches into food from the protective internal epoxy resin coatings of canned foods and from consumer products such as polycarbonate tableware, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles. The degree to which BPA leaches from polycarbonate bottles into liquid may depend more on the temperature of the liquid or bottle, than the age of the container. Children are particularly vulnerable to the exposure to BPA, which can also be found in breast milk. Studies link BPA to breast cancer, diabetes, and hyperactivity, aggression and depression in children.
As this awful invisible poison has become simply part of our lives – air, dust, and water are other possible sources of exposure – awareness and caution is called for:
- Whenever possible, opt for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food or liquids.
- Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Polycarbonate is strong and durable, but over time it may break down from overuse at high temperatures. Microwaving is another health hazard and you might want to throw out the one you have in your kitchen. *)
- Plastic containers in various countries have recycle codes on the bottom. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
- Reduce your use of canned foods.
- Use baby bottles that are BPA free.
According to the New York Times, a study published by the journal Endocrinology that measured the impact of low doses of BPA was found to be “devastating for the chemical industry.”
“Pregnant mice were exposed to BPA at dosages analogous to those humans typically receive. The offspring were less sociable than control mice (using metrics often used to assess an aspect of autism in humans), and various effects were also evident for the next three generations of mice.
“The BPA seemed to interfere with the way the animals processed hormones like oxytocin and vasopressin, which affect trust and warm feelings. And while mice are not humans, research on mouse behavior is a standard way to evaluate new drugs or to measure the impact of chemicals.”
As Nicholas D. Kristof points out, it may seem “surprising to read a newspaper column about chemical safety because this isn’t an issue in the presidential campaign or even firmly on the national agenda. It’s not the kind of thing that we in the news media cover much.
“Yet the evidence is growing that these are significant threats of a kind that Washington continually fails to protect Americans from. The challenge is that they involve complex science and considerable uncertainty, and the chemical companies – like the tobacco companies before them – create financial incentives to encourage politicians to sit on the fence. So nothing happens.
“Yet although industry has, so far, been able to block broad national curbs on BPA, new findings on transgenerational effects may finally put a dent in Big Chem’s lobbying efforts. One good sign: In late July, a Senate committee, for the first time passed the Safe Chemicals Act, a landmark legislation sponsored by Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, that would begin to regulate the safety of chemicals.”
At the same time, as a global health measure, the use of BPA must be immediately discontinued and research must begin on how to detox bodies from this poison.
Bhagawati, Osho News