2018 was the year of plastic-awareness for our environment, so let’s make 2019 the year where we start to focus on the effects that plastic have on the human body.
What plastics should you be concerned about?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a polycarbonate unit that is typically used in plastic food storage containers and water bottles. It makes a really strong shatterproof plastic that is durable and also heat resistant.
How can BPA impact your child’s health?
What we have learnt through research over the last few years is that BPA is also an endocrine disruptor, which basically means that it can interfere with the body’s natural production of hormones and also impact the way that they are secreted and transported across the body. In fact, it actually mimics our hormones, which pretty much results in a bit of a traffic jam that leads to a car crash. Pretty scary stuff right!
The potential end result is changes to menstrual cycle, for some it might become more irregular, for others it can completely stop. So, what about our children? Well, this is the scary bit, they can start their menstrual cycle much earlier or not at all. We see typical cases of oestrogen or androgen dominance, which comes with a whole raft of potential health risks (endometriosis, PCOS, cancer, …). The same can be said for male hormones. Under the cascade of chaos comes mood disorders, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADHD and more.
What’s worse still is that children seem to be a great deal more sensitive to the effects of BPA, so all the more reason why we as parents need to take action and ensure our children are using BPA-free products.
What steps you can take to reduce the effects of BPA on your child?
There are a few really simple things that we can do to improve health and to help us shift our focus to disease prevention rather than intervention!
- Ensure that your child (and you) have a BPA-free water bottle at all times and avoid buying plastic water bottles where possible (I appreciate that this is not always possible)
- If your child enjoys a packed lunch for school, make sure it is a BPA-free lunch box.
- If you use a microwave, NEVER heat ANYTHING in plastic!!! The BPA will leach into your food at a much higher rate. Instead use glass food storage containers. See link below.
Sistema does a good range of really affordable BPA products available in Sainsbury’s and Tesco. For glass food containers, there are many options.
These are really simple things that we can do that can make such a big difference to the health of our children and our own. Your child and their future planet will be so much healthier and happier!
I recommend reading this article about microwaving children’s food in plastic.