Ways to Eliminate BPA, BPS, and BPF Exposure

Understanding the numbers on plastic items.

Most people come into contact with BPA, BPS, and BPF through plastics, cleaning solutions, and paper receipts.  BPA is an Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (EDC) capable of interfering with the body's hormones, particularly estrogen, and scientists have linked BPA exposure to diseases like cancer and diabetes.  Plastic products that now tout how they are "BPA free" look and feel remarkably like products that contain BPA.  The unfortunate and disturbing reason is that most BPA free products contain bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF) and these chemicals are structural analogs to BPA.  Studies show they have similar endocrine disrupting effects as BPA.  For more information on BPA/BPS/BPF click here.  

Escaping chemicals in our modern society is near impossible, and certainly not the goal of this guide; however, taking easy steps to decrease you and your family's exposure to chemicals that are found to interfere with hormones and cause a plethora of problems in children and adults is, in our opinion, well worth the lifestyle changes.  The following are simple suggestions to reducing you and your family's exposure to toxins found in every day plastics.  

1.     Do not microwave plastics: BPA helps make plastic materials hard and strong, so they keep their shape and don’t break. When microwaved, plastic food containers can break down from high temperatures, allowing more BPA or other chemicals into your food, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Put your leftovers in ceramic or glass before heating. (It’s also a good idea to wait for food to cool before putting it in plastic containers.)

2.     Use a glass or metal water bottle and coffee thermos: The FDA banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups back in 2012 because of the known risks to children, and BPA-free water bottles became all the rage; however, as discussed above plastics that are "BPA free" may still contain BPF and/or BPS. The best ways to avoid these chemicals is to use a glass or metal bottle.  Here are some options--  Lifefactory Glass Bottle with Silicone Sleeve and Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Bottle With Stainless Loop Cap.

3.  Get a good water filter for your tap to replace bottled water.

4.     Say no to receipts: This is one of the easiest ways to limit BPA in your life: ask the cashier to skip printing one and press “No” at the ATM or gas station. Simply touching a receipt allows your skin to absorb the BPA.  

5.     DIY Non-Toxic Home Cleaners or use non toxic cleaners.  Click here for our guide to non-toxic healthier household cleaning options.  cleaners and here for more information on toxins in household cleaning products.  You can check the toxicity of your cleaning products by searching on the Environmental Working Group’s site by clicking here.  

6.  Use cloth diapers. The average baby goes through 6-8 diapers a day, which means one baby will use between 6,500–10,000 diapers before completing potty training.  Beyond the obvious environmental problems caused by disposable diapers, they also contain chemical such as Sodium Polyacrylate (SPA used to absorb liquid), Doxin (paper bleaching product), phthalates, Tributyl Tin (TBT, a known endocrine blocker) and others.  Click here for more information on the dangers of using disposable diapers.  

7.   Get your fresh eggs in cardboard cartons, not polystyrene. Get your fresh meat and cheese wrapped in waxed butcher paper, instead of plastic and foam. Get your fresh milk in bottles, not plastic-coated cartons or jugs. Many stores and farmers encourage you to return the empty bottle in exchange for savings on your next full one.

8.     Avoid canned foods and beverages, including canned baby formulas. You can get many canned food items, like crushed tomatoes or broth, in glass jars or tetrapaks instead. Some companies are offering their products in BPA-free cans, and the number continues to grow due to public demand. Here’s a list.  

9.  Because children are extra susceptible to the toxins in plastics, it is especially important to make sure your baby bottles, pacifiers, teething toys (or anything that ends up in your child’s mouth) are safe. Choose glass bottles with real rubber nipples, wood or cloth teethers, etc.  Choose wood, cloth, steel and paper-based toys for your children over plastic, whenever possible.

10.  Replace your school-age child’s plastic lunchbox with a cloth or stainless steel one.

11.     When shopping, use reusable produce bags to hold your produce, and reusable grocery bags to carry all your items home.

12.     Store, reheat or freeze your leftovers in glass containers instead of in plastic “tupperware”.

13.     Avoid disposable plastic or polystyrene dishes and utensils.

14.  Replace your plastic kitchenware with items made from stainless steel, glass, ceramic, or even silicone instead.

15.  Bring your own containers to the restaurant for both carryout and leftovers.

16.  Ask for your newspaper and dry cleaning without plastic wrap.

17.  Replace you and your children's toothbrushes with a non-toxic ones. There are many choices here

18.    Always ask for BPA-free dental sealants and BPA-free composite fillings at the dentist office.

Plastics are a staple of our everyday lives, each plastic item has a triangle with a number to indicate what kind of plastic is present in the item.  The info graphs describe what these numbers mean.

Know your plastics.