We already know that the industrial chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), used in manufacturing plastic food containers and food can liners, is bad news.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s already been linked to cancer, heart disease and birth defects.
But the chemical’s latest dirty little secret may have the most devastating impact long-term.
BPA may be responsible for pushing girls into early puberty.
Early puberty in girls may be tied to BPA
The chemical is suspected to be one of the main players in the sudden and steep drop in the age our girls are starting puberty. The over two-year plummet since the 1960’s, has girls now hitting puberty in the fourth grade at about age 9. And this has experts in hormonal disorders and reproductive scientists… not to mention parents… quite concerned.
Experts say that when girls reach puberty so early they have a raised risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and even sexual abuse.
BPA is what’s known as an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are synthetic chemicals that our body perceives to be natural hormones. In this case BPA is mimicking estrogen helping to trigger the push-to-puberty we’re now seeing.
Unfortunately, we’ve probably only begun to see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the hormonal-havoc this chemical is capable of producing. And with detectable levels of BPA in 93 percent of urine samples tested, we surely will be seeing more of its effects.
While earlier this year the FDA finally admitted to having “some concern” about the chemical (this after having declaring it safe in 2008), they’ve made no efforts to ban the compound. So you, and your children, will likely be exposed to it for many years to come.
Tips for reducing your family’s BPA exposure
But there are some things you can do on your own to reduce your family’s exposure to BPA:
- Immediately replace all baby bottles with BPA-free bottles.
- Stop serving foods that come out of a can and switch to fresh and organic versions instead. (Or look for BPA-free cans. May still have estrogenic chemicals, but reduces risks.)
- Don’t microwave foods in plastic containers. Better yet toss out any that have a number 7 on the bottom, which usually indicates that BPA was used to make them.
- Replace your plastic containers and water bottles with glass, ceramic, and stainless steel versions instead.
Sadly, the old phrase “they grow up so fast” never rang more true than it does now.
Personally, I’m calling for a slow-down on the fast lane from pigtails to puberty.
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