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Not a myth: BPA is harmful to you and your foetus!

As an expecting mother, you want only the best for your baby’s welfare. By now, the glories of a nutritious baby-friendly diet and healthy lifestyle would have been sung to you on many occasions. But what if the seemingly healthy food you ingest is part of the problem?

The controversy about a industrial chemical found in plastics, Bisphenoal A, or BPA for short, rages on. Health authorities have warned against the potential toxic effects of BPA can have on pregnant women and their foetus. BPA is found in hard clear plastics, which is used in a wide range of consumer goods and packaging. It has been around since the 60’s, but BPA is now in the crossfire with an increased link to a series of health issues.

What kind of effects do BPA have on pregnancy?

BPA is a chemical that mimics the hormone estrogen and interferes with the natural processes of the body. It has been linked to numerous health problems in countries across the globe. Studies on lab animals have shown a wide range of health and behavioural problems. These changes can become more evident in pregnant women and newborn babies. BPA is further accused of directly affecting the mammary and thyroid glands.

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The early stages of pregnancy are vital to the brain development of your baby. During this critical window period, excessive exposure to BPA can have a direct influence on your child’s future emotional and behavioural state, as they are more susceptible to the effects of BPA.

Studies indicate further health risks include:

  • Breast and prostate cancer in later life
  • Miscarriages
  • Reproductive issues and weight problems
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Early onset of puberty
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Compromised mental capacity

 

What type of products is BPA found in?

BPA is found in an array of everyday consumer products. Think that the water bottle you take to the gym is safe? Think again. BPA is found in hard plastics that double as containers. Water bottles, baby bottles, beverage cans and certain liquid baby formulas contain this harsh chemical.

RELATED: 5 drinks you should have in moderation while pregnant

To be fair, the amounts of BPA found in these examples may be lower than the recommended limit, but this does not mean that you should rest easy. We may only be exposed to small amounts of BPA from numerous sources during the course of a day, but when accumulated over an extended period of time, it may be significant enough to cause health problems.

What can you do to avoid the effects of BPA?

Wash containers containing BPA properly.

BPA plastics should never be washed in a dishwasher or with any other harsh chemicals, and it should never be used in a microwave. This includes your BPA-riddled baby bottles too.

RELATED: 8 foods you should reconsider eating while pregnant

Go BPA-free with your food and in the kitchen.

If you are truly concerned about the harmful effects of BPA, opt for fresh food over the canned versions as far as possible. Purchase cold drinks in glass containers, and store your food in Pyrex bowls. Unlined stainless steel containers are also fine. If you are looking for an excuse to revamp your kitchen, now is the time. Wooden, metal and glass utensils are the way forward if you intend to limit the effects of BPA on your health. Choose BPA-free plastics, which are mainly available online. Brands include: Kids Konserve, MAM, Cheeki and organicKidz.

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