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Bisphenol-A (BPA)

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is one of the world's highest volume chemicals produced. It is used to harden plastics, prevent bacteria from growing in food, and prevent cans from rusting. It can be found in products that we use every day: baby bottles, water bottles, food storage containers, the linings of canned goods and receipts. (BPA is found in recycled and carbonless paper.)

BPA is considered an endocrine substance that mimics or blocks hormones and disrupts the normal functioning of the body. Researchers have linked BPA to developmental and health problems in children, including learning and behavioral disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and depression; early puberty in girls; Diabetes; Obesity; and heart disease. Babies and children are at the greatest risk of injury from exposure to BPA because their bodies are growing and changing so quickly.

BPA can enter our bodies through eating or drinking food heated in plastic; Eating or drinking of food stored in metal cans (canned food) or made of plastic (take-away containers); and touching receipts.

What we know about BPA

Research by the center has found BPA in more than 90 percent of maternal urine samples in our New York City cohort . We also detected BPA in over 95 percent of the children's samples, with higher levels in children ages three and five. The data from our cohort suggest an association between prenatal exposure to BPA and symptoms of anxiety, depression and other neuropsychological problems.

What you can do

Avoid plastic in food and drinks

  • Do not heat food in plastic. Heat food and drinks in ceramic, glass or stainless steel containers. This includes putting plastics in the dishwasher and microwave.

  • Avoid storing food in plastic. Keep food and drinks in ceramic, glass, wooden or stainless steel containers. Only use plastic containers or baby bottles and water bottles that are labeled BPA-free.

  • Read plastic labels and avoid items marked with PC or the # 7 recycling label (usually printed in a triangle on the bottom).

  • Avoid using old or scratched plastic containers or bottles.

  • Choose fresh or frozen foods and drinks instead of canned foods. The cans are lined with BPA to prevent rusting. Replace cans with paper cartons. Try cooking with dry beans, legumes, and grains - it costs less and you can avoid salt and sugar

Avoid touching receipts

  • Refuse a receipt if you can. If you don't need it, don't take it!

  • Keep receipts separate. Store in an envelope and not loose in your wallet or purse.

  • Wash your hands after touching receipts or money.

  • Keep receipts out of the reach of young children.

  • Handle with dry hands and only briefly.

  • Don't use hand sanitizer after you've touched the receipts - these products can increase the amount of BPA that can get into your skin.

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