Over the years, I’ve become more and more health conscious. My passion to relish in optimal health and longevity has pushed me further than just a focus on nutrition alone.
It’s been a combination of taking care of my health in many ways from my thoughts, to my actions, the products I use on my skin, household, detergents, to sleep, stress, hormones, exercise and including the people who surround me. All play an importance to overall health.
Last week I spoke about skin care, this week I want to highlight the importance of choosing glassware over plastic.
As we move into a much more health conscious time in our lives, we may have heard that chemicals can cause adverse health effects.
“Chemicals that mimic or antagonize the actions of naturally occurring estrogens are defined as having estrogenic activity (EA), which is the most common form of endocrine disruptor activity”. (Yang, et al., 2011)
In this case, plastic products are commonly synthesized using BPA- Bisphenol A, a chemical known to have estrogenic activity.
In mammals, chemicals having EA can produce many health-related problems such as:
early puberty in females
reduced sperm counts
altered functions of reproductive organs
altered sex-specific behaviors
increased rates of some breast, ovarian, testicular, and prostate cancers
changes in tissue enzymes
interaction with other hormone-response systems like androgen and thyroid hormone receptors (Saal et al., 2007)
To reduce your exposure to BPA:
· Starting small like everything else
· Treating the transition like a process; its going to always be a work in progress
· Focusing on replacing one item at a time: Ex. Start by implementing glassware meal prep containers instead of plastic containers
· Switching to glass, steel or ceramic water bottle
· Switching to glassware for Tupperware, meal prep containers, jars etc
· Avoiding plastic bags when grocery shopping
· Switching to filtered tap water
· Slowly getting in the habit of not leaving water bottles in the heat if you need to buy water bottles
· Reading labels that promote BPA “free” to ensure it isn’t just a replacement to Bisphenol S (BPS) which can be as harmful as BPA.
Saal, F. S., Akingbemi, B. T., Belcher, S. M., Birnbaum, L. S., Crain, D. A., Eriksen, M., … Zoeller, R. T. (2007). Chapel Hill bisphenol A expert panel consensus statement: integration of mechanisms, effects in animals and potential to impact human health at current levels of exposure. Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.), 24(2), 131–138. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2007.07.005
Yang, C. Z., Yaniger, S. I., Jordan, V. C., Klein, D. J., & Bittner, G. D. (2011). Most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals: a potential health problem that can be solved. Environmental health perspectives, 119(7), 989–996. doi:10.1289/ehp.1003220