Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dumping the BPAs: Goodbye, dear double-walled glasses!

So, I just wrote a blog for Examiner on how to avoid consuming bisphenol-A, or BPA, a chemical additive in plastics and resins that has been linked to or a suspect in health problems ranging from cancer to obesity to birth defects.

I've been hearing the rumblings about the dangers of ingesting BPAs for a couple of years now, especially from the leaching of bisphenol-A into your food when microwaving it in plastic storage containers. So, I switched to glass (Pyrex) containers, especially when reheating my leftovers. I do use plastic containers to store food in the fridge, but never use them in the microwave.

I also bought a metal water bottle and fill it with filtered water from the fridge on a regular basis.

But these measures, it seems, were only the first steps. After researching "good" vs. "bad" plastics for the Examiner article, I found out that I must avoid using anything with the numbers 3, 6, 7 -- or no number. Also, containers that are scratched, stained or worn from use should not be kept. So, I'm going through my cabinets as I write this (well, OK, not exactly as I write this: my arms can't reach that far!) and clearing out all the "bad" containers.

This also forced me to take a look at my beloved double-walled plastic glasses. I've been using these insulated tumblers for years, because they are designed to avoid "sweating," a pesky problem here in hot and humid South Florida. I keep a tumbler filled with water by my side pretty much 24/7. But these plastics have no number on them -- meaning there's a very good likelihood that they were produced using BPA, which is known to make plastics very sturdy without making them cloudy.

Gulp! As I've been doing the "healthy" thing, eschewing sodas and other harmful beverages in favor of good old H2O, have I been ingesting BPAs this whole time? To find out for sure, I just wrote to the company that made these products, Tervis.

In the meantime, it's goodbye, double-walled tumblers made of plastic; hello, glasses made of ... glass. Guess it's time to start using coasters again!

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