The Cancer Association of South Africa has ordered a large study on the role that common plastics and other food additives may play in endangering our health. Margarine, baby bottles (polycarbonate or BPA) and cling wrap are being evaluated as potential sources of toxins. Canada has already taken steps to ban polycarbonate bottles. There has yet to be a ban on BPA in the United States, although major retailers like Walmart and Toys R Us are pulling BPA baby bottles from their shelves in the face of increasing evidence of the reproductive, breast and prostate cancer problems attributed to the chemical, which itself acts as a synthetic estrogen hormone. Common uses for the chemical:
- Plastic bottles and food storage containers
- Liners of canned food, especially acidic foods, soups and infant formula
- Dental sealants
I have in an attempt to be fair and balanced, included a rebuttal of the dangers of BPA by the Bisphenal A association for your review.
For those of you that want to err on the side of caution, look for the number "7" within the recycling triangle on the bottom of a container. This number implies that BPA may be present. You could also replace plastic food containers with glass, ceramic or stainless steel items. Purchasing fresh foods is another way to avoid leaching chemicals from food packaging.
For more reading on dangerous chemicals present in our environment check out the book, "The Hundred Year Lie", available in the Currently Reading section of Black and Into Green.