Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Is Nothing Safe?

I recently (and with no small amount of reluctance) traded in my beloved old Sigg water bottle for a stainless steel version made by Earthlust. Why? Well it turns out that after denying their aluminum bottle liners contained BPA for years, Sigg finally revealed that, in fact, BPA was used in their older bottles. But it's OK, because it didn't leach into the contents. Really! They promised. Well, that wasn't good enough for me so I opted for food grade stainless, a non-toxic material that doesn't require a suspicious lining the way aluminum does.

Then I began worrying about the potential dangers in drinking hot coffee through a plastic lid. The waste generated by so called disposable cups is already appalling enough but who knows what leaches from those cheap plastic lids into my latte? So I made a deal with myself: no more to go coffee unless I have my snazzy BPA-free, leak proof, insulated stainless steel cup along with me. So far so good.

But no. I just read a disturbing report on the blog Civil Eats about BPA in the linings of virtually all food cans, organic or not.
Consumer Reports’ latest tests of canned foods, including soups, juice, tuna, and green beans, have found that almost all of the 19 name-brand foods tested contain measurable levels of Bisphenol A (BPA).
I'm not a huge user of canned food but there are few canned things which are staples in our home: organic tomatoes, coconut milk, beans, and tuna. I can't imagine cooking without some of these things in my pantry. I haven't been able to find much consistent information about which companies use cans containing BPA but someone at the Organic Grace blog has sone lots of research on the subject. Thanks, Organic Grace blog!

You'd think this would motivate me to do more canning next summer but even that's not safe as most commonly available home canning lids also contain BPA. What to do?

For years I really thought that my daily exposure to toxics wasn't really a big deal. But after recently reading a truly frightening book entitled The Autoimmune Epidemic , my Pollyanna tendencies are starting to wane. This stuff really does matter because we have no way of knowing which toxic chemical may be the one to tip us into any of over 100 autoimmune diseases. I already live with one which ups my likelihood of developing another. I've learned to live with Graves Disease in the last few years, but that's enough, thanks. I imagine it's only a matter of time until BPA goes the way of DDT and PCBs but how many people have to get sick before that happens?

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1 comment:

Rachel said...

I think the disturbing rise of auto-immune problems among women is crazy. I had no idea until I was diagnosed myself w/Sjogren's about five years ago. I also have fibromyalgia. It's absolutely crazy. My homeopath has several theories about why this is happening and I'm sure that what gets put in the food we eat is a contributor too.