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The debate over bisphenol-A (BPA) in food packaging, especially plastic bottles, has been going on for quite some time. Many people have already switched over to BPA-free products, as countries like Canada and even some U.S. cities, such as Chicago, have banned the chemical from children's products. BPA has been linked to certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease and hyperactivity and has been found to be most harmful to young children and infants.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) has always insisted that BPAs are safe, a few days ago it changed its tune. According to an article in the New York Times, the agency said "it had 'some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children,' and would join other federal health agencies in studying the chemical in both animals and humans."
That's big news in the battle against foods and products that are harmful to the public health. In the meantime, if you're concerned about BPA contaminating your food, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has several recommendations, including the following:
-Throw away scratched or worn out containers that contain BPA, as the chemical can leak from the scratches
-Don't put hot liquids into BPA containers
-Always check labels on containers to make sure they're microwave safe
-Mothers should breastfeed their children for at least 12 months, as baby formula can contain small amounts of BPA
How do you know if a plastic container might contain BPA? Check the recycling number on the bottom and avoid ones labeled with a 3, 6 or 7. If you see a 1, 2 or 5, your container is BPA-free.