I spend A LOT of time reading and doing research. A LOT. One of my goals over the years has been to be a filter of information for you. A place where you can come and gather info from someone who has done a significant amount of legwork so that you don’t have to. I take pride the amount of knowledge I have to share with others.
Am I Perfect?
Hell no, but I am always digging around and doing a ton of research in areas related to our autoimmune health. I make the time to do it because it’s important to me. So please know that when I speak about something, I try to do a good amount of research before I open my mouth. I want to be a trusted resource for you. Got a question? Ask me and I’ll do my very best to help you find a good solution, answer to potential direction to move in.
If you aren’t already aware of this, in this digital age there are things known as “click bait.” Inflammatory (and frequently inaccurate and misleading) HEADLINES are written in an effort to get you to click through and read. How many of you are finding yourself pissed off when you get to “the other side of a click?” Tons, right? What was promised was either not really there or the info doesn’t support the headline. There are many reasons.
Tracking “clicks” is how the internet is keeping score these days and many are using the number of clicks on any given website to coax people to advertise, to participate in some way, to “look over here because we have so much traffic” is the norm. Manipulation is part of the game. Great….more of a time suck, right?
We have also become “headline readers” because really, there is just too much damn info out there to consume it all. So the combination of crappy misleading headlines (frequently planted by industries who are trying to protect their financial interests) and click bait make the user experience so freaking difficult. No wonder we are all so frustrated. We don’t know where to get our info from, who to trust.
All that said, you need to be sure that the SOURCE of any of the information (or headlines you read) is credible. There are a TON of shitty info source on the web. If you find a particular thing that is of interest to you, poke around. Make sure you are getting the most accurate info possible. In this article, I have many hyperlinks for you to follow and read, should you desire to do read more in depth.
As many of you already know, I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Auto immune diseases affect multiple glands in the endocrine system. Tens of millions of people suffer worldwide with auto immune issues and their numbers grow daily. Diseases like type 1 diabetes, Graves disease, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease and obesity are just a few of the auto-immune diseases we see prevalent in today’s culture. Overall there are more than 100 auto-immune diseases. 100!
For the last 5 or so years, I have been reading more and more negative reports about how BPA affects the endocrine system and have been diligently working to remove as much of these pollutants as possible from my daily experience. The two places where BPA is most prevalent in our day to day lives is in plastics and in the lining of food containers, usually metal ones.
Bisphenol A (BPA), an organic chemical compound (organic means only that it has CARBON in it) is a known endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen in the body. The National Institute of Environmental Health & Science (an arm of the US government’s National Institute of Health) defines endocrine disruptors as:
“Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made are thought to cause endocrine disruptions, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyl, DDT and other pesticides and plasticizers such as bisphenol A. Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products – including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics and pesticides.”
Hormones work at infinitesimally small doses. Hormone disruptors disrupt at the same low levels. It doesn’t take much to have a large effect. We are even getting BPA absorbed into our skin rapidly and easily from handling cash register receipts.
Me? I don’t trust that many of the studies that are done are done without bias or without some sort of influence from the industries who benefit from the chemicals polluting us and our environment. When asked about the potential dangers of BPA, Dr. Bruce Lanphear from Simon Fraser University says…
”The regulatory system that has been set up assumes that these chemicals are safe til proven otherwise. We don’t have enough evidence to show these are guilty yet so until we have definitive evidence from the lab with human studies we are going to treat them as innocent.” He goes on to state…”we heard the same things in the past about lead, mercury and PCBs. “
All of these chemicals were later proven to not be your faithful companion in promoting overall good health. We can’t let the people who produce the chemicals do the testing to be sure they are safe. Same thing has happened with GMOs, but puh-lease don’t get me up on THAT soap box.
Here is the biggest problem with testing ANY chemical. When it is tested for “safety” it is often done one chemical at a time and that particular scenario is hardly reality. We are very seldom exposed to a single chemical at any given time in our bodies. There is usually a chemical cocktail that has an overall negative effect on the body but testing for every possible interaction is nearly impossible. Here are some things we do know.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of 2517 urine samples from people six years and older.
We also know that in 2012 the FDA mandated that BPA be removed from products for babies – basically bottles, spoons, drinking cups, blah, blah, blah. They were concerned about development issues caused by the BPA. Smoke and mirrors IMHO, but still a move in the right direction. There are mixed opinions and views about whether the FDA’s reach was broad enough. They’ll continue fighting about it until someone has the cohones to step up and make a bolder move.
In 2014 several members of Congress pushed a bill to protect consumers from the harmful effects of BPA. Jason Rano, Director of the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, said “BPA has been linked to cancer, obesity, diabetes, infertility, hormone disruption and early puberty in children. Congress is taking an important step on behalf of our most vulnerable populations to help reduce exposure to BPA.”
And finally there is this. BPA free plastics not so great either. There are other Bisphenols (S, B, etc) in plastics now and the negative health effect of these are also starting to get some negative attention as well.
I’m not a scientist, but I am not stupid either. All roads point to bad. Because I want to improve my health I am doing whatever I can to remove as many chemicals as I can from my day to day to day life and I try not lose sleep over the ones I can’t control. The ones I can’t control? I’ll try to handle them by staying as healthy as I can so that my body can fight off what it needs to when it’s called upon.
I want BPA out of my life. I’m not taking any risks. I’m doing everything I can to reduce the chemical load my body has to handle on a daily basis. The easiest way to do that for me is to remove all chemically laden plastics from my life. I’m done with plastic food containers. DONE. I don’t care what the # is on in the little recycle triangle in the bottom says, I want it OUT of my life. All plastics leach chemicals into the foods/liquids they come in contact with and wherever I can eliminated them easily and substitute with either glass or stainless steel, I do. Plastics degrade over time mostly from heat (sun, dishwashers, microwaves) and as they do, there is an accelerated leaching of plasticizers into our food or drink.
Done. I’m just done.
Stainless steel and glass have been where it’s at for me for a while. Some glass storage is just too large and unwieldy in the fridge so I’ve moved over to stainless steel to make the weight issue easier to deal with. You can too. If you haven’t read my blog post on glass jars, I recommend you do. They are FREE and great ways to store food.
On the left is an is an early generation Sigg water bottle, circa 2007. It has a lot miles on it and tremendous sentimental value for me as it has I traveled around the world with me for many years. It is, however, aluminum (like many food cans). When I discovered that it was lined with bpa, I stopped using it When I bought it it was all the rage and a great environmentally sound choice to help reduce the number of plastic water bottles worldwide. We’ve learned a lot in the 8 years since I made that purchase. Now, it’s just a memory from my trip. I have replaced it with glass. Sigg claims that their new generation of water bottles have a safer liner in them. Me. I’m not messing with any of that shit any more. I’m sticking will glass.
On the right is my new BFF. It is glass with a stainless steel lid. It’s called Contigo (contigo translates to “with you” from Spanish to English). I bought on Amazon for about $15. Best money I’ve spent in a while. I LOVE it.
Remember to read all labels carefully before buying a new “metal” water bottle.
Are you concerned about BPA?
Are you doing anything to eliminate it from your life? Please tells us in the comment section below.