BPA, Plastic and the health kick.

I have been reading the most fantastic book, Origins: How The Nine Months Before Birth Shape The Rest of Our Lives. By Annie Murphy Paul. It is really so much more than a book about pregnancy, it is a surprising eye opening into the effects a mother's healthy, physical and emotional wellbeing has on the fetus- effects that can last well into middle age. NPR had an interview with her, which is how I heard about the book- and I would highly recommend that anyone interested in human development, heath, pregnancy (or what your birth weight can mean for health effects in later life) should listen to the podcast (by clicking here). 

Well her chapter on plastics freaked me out a little. Patricia Hunt, a researcher the author interviewed has done studies on the effects of BPA on mice, where it is linked to hormonal and reproductive abnormalities, such as abnormal eggs. Or worse, according to a 2008 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that male fetuses exposed to phthalates such as BPA have been linked to penis abnormalities, where the urethra is located in the wrong place. Now among the parent set, worried about their little ones, alarm bells have been ringing since the 2008 National Toxicology Program's report but among those of you hiding out from the world in law school I had yet to hear about it.

Annie has a great little rhyme to help you remember which plastics are okay: "Four, Five ,One and Two; all the rest are bad for you". So today, after reading the book cover to cover last night, I went through my Tupperware and tossed all those that are either too old to be labeled at all and those numbered 7 (of which I only had one). I am keeping all my number fives, which supposedly are alright, but I am going to register for glass containers with plastic lids (BPA free ones!) for the wedding and switch to those, so at least I know my food isn't just sitting in plastic which has got me a little freaked out at the moment. 


Joanne said...

Great post! I knew about BPA but never really thought about what the difference was between the numbers on all my plastics. I'm off to check em out!

sauvageblue said...

I knew about bpa free but I didnt know about the numbers. I am going to go through my cabinets today. I stopped buying plastic unless it says bpa free but I am going to see what I have thats bad.