can linings

  1. FDA refuses to take action on BPA

    If the FDA can't see why it's a bad idea to feed everyone -- even babies -- chemical versions of hormones, then they should get out of regulation business altogether.

    Just the very idea of feeding uncontrolled and unregulated hormones to the public should be all it takes for an agency charged with protecting public health to shout "NO!"

    Instead, they've said, "YES! YES! YES!" -- because once again, the FDA has rejected a petition to ban the hormone-like chemical bisphenol A (BPA).

    You've heard of BPA, I'm sure. It's a chemical used in plastics and can linings that mimics estrogen once it's inside the body. And if you're eating food from a plastic package or metal can -- or drink soda -- you're getting some BPA with every swallow.

    That's not even up for dispute, by the way. Even the feds admit as much -- they just claim there's no evidence that the small amounts that leech into food and drink pose any risk, as if there's a safe amount of extra estrogen you could feed people.

    It's a stunning level of ignorance, because the research on the dangers of BPA is about as clear as anything I've ever seen. Just type "BPA" into Google and search only the news -- not opinions and Web sites with agendas pro or con, just news -- and on any given day you'll find new study on its toxic effects.

    I did that just now, as I was writing this, and found a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that shows BPA exposure early in life to be every bit as bad as mercury exposure.

    In a series of experiments on zebrafish, exposure shortly after birth "permanently altered" the brain -- leading to behavioral changes both in early development and in adulthood.

    That's exactly what those same researchers saw when they exposed the fish to mercury, one of the most toxic heavy metals on the planet.

    But that's just today's news.

    You don't have to look very hard to find more research, including studies that link BPA to developmental problems, early puberty, sexual and reproductive problems, obesity, diabetes, heart problems, autism, and more.

    The best way to avoid this chemical -- the only way, since the FDA won't regulate it -- is to avoid all packaged foods and eat fresh meals each day. And if your child or grandchild is bottle-feeding, make sure you get BPA-free bottles.

  2. BPA in everything

    You might want to cancel the newspaper subscription.

    By now, you've heard of bisphenol-A -- the dangerous estrogen-like chemical used in plastics and can linings that's been linked to diabetes, sexual dysfunction and more.

    But eating packaged and canned goods isn't the only way to get exposed to this junk and boost your risk.

    Your daily newspaper might be loaded with it -- and just one touch is all it takes to get exposed through your skin (and I don't even want to think about the dangers to people who lick their fingers before turning each page).

    Here's the problem: I've told you before that common receipts -- store receipts, ATM receipts and more -- are loaded with BPA because of the thermal ink.

    As it turns out, people dump those same receipts into their recycling bins -- and while the receipts are no longer receipts once they're recycled, the BPA is still BPA.

    Now, researchers say they've found high levels of BPA in nearly everything made from recycled paper -- including newspapers and train tickets, which had up to a million times the levels of what you'd find in food from a BPA-laced container.

    Like I said, definitely don't lick your finger before turning the page -- but you don't have to put these things in your mouth to be exposed. Studies have shown that BPA can be absorbed through the skin -- and in some cases, it can't even be washed off.

    Along with train tickets and newspapers, the researchers also found BPA in some of the most commonly used recycled paper products: napkins, food wrappers -- even toilet paper!

    But it doesn't matter where your exposure comes from or how you get it -- the key is avoiding it. BPA has been linked to a host of diseases and illnesses, and along with diabetes and sexual dysfunction, recent studies have linked BPA to early menopause, obesity, heart disease, and developmental problems.

    Luckily, it's pretty easy to bring your levels down -- just commit to a diet of fresh foods. One study found that fresh organic foods can slash your BPA levels by 60 percent over three days. (Read about it here.)

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