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What Everyone Should Know About Plastics

Information circulating about the dangers of plastic containers has created fear and confusion. Are plastic containers toxic? Do harmful chemicals leach out into its contents? Do we need to discard all plastic containers?

Recently, I interacted in a live health chat on MedHelp about the safety of plastics. Scientist, Joe Schwarcz, Ph.D., Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, talked about “The Real Truth About Plastics: What You Should And Shouldn’t Worry About.”

While Dr. Schwarcz states that some plastics like those made by Tupperware and Rubbermaid are safe to use, there are other plastics made of Bisphenol A (BPA) that may cause some concern, however he did not become alarmed.

There is extensive information on the safety of plastics, and reading some of it can easily cause panic and confusion, but the smartest step health consumers can do for themselves is to remain calm and don’t become alarmed. Gather the facts and determine what’s best for you.

The Facts About Bisphenol A (BPA)

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to manufacture polycarbonate plastics. This type of plastic is used to make some types of beverage containers, compact disks, plastic dinnerware, impact-resistant safety equipment, automobile parts, and toys. BPA epoxy resins are used in the protective linings of food cans, in dental sealants, and in other products.

General exposure to BPA at low levels comes from eating food or drinking water stored in containers that have BPA. Small children may be exposed by hand-to-mouth and direct oral (mouth) contact with materials containing BPA. Dental treatment with BPA-containing sealants also results in short-term exposure. In addition, workers who manufacture products that contain BPA can be exposed.

How Does BPA Get Into The Body?

BPA can leach into food from the epoxy resin lining of cans and from consumer products such as polycarbonate tableware, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles. Additional traces of BPA can leach out of these products when they are heated at high temperatures. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

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