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Can BPA Affect Adults' Health?
While the CDC study showed lower BPA concentrations in adults than children, the concern still exists as to how BPA will affect your risk of diseases that occur later in life, such as breast and prostate cancers. For this reason, Dr. Greene advises adults to make their lives as BPA-free as possible.
"There have been some recent studies showing increased diabetes in adults with higher levels of BPA," says Dr. Greene. "
And because BPA has been detected in breast milk, lactating women should also try to be BPA-free.
Should I Be Worried About My Kids' Past Exposure?
You should not worry about past exposure, says Dr. Greene, but you should do all you can now to stop BPA ingestion. "Even though I am concerned about BPA, it doesn't mean it will create a problem for every child," Dr. Greene says. "It just shifts the odds a bit, but still the odds are in your favor."
Dr. Greene advises limiting your children's BPA exposure and feeding them a diet rich in folate, which has a protective effect against BPA. "By reducing BPA exposures now and by improving nutrition now the researchers suggest that we can minimize or even reverse some of the damage," he says. Good sources of folate include peas, peanuts, orange juice and bananas.
How Can I Limit BPA Exposure?
Avoid using any plastic containers with the recycling symbol, "7," which indicates they contain BPA. When purchasing baby bottles, cups and utensils, look for "BPA-free" on the label. Glass baby bottles and aluminum toddler cups are naturally BPA-free. Dr. Greene advises pregnant women to not eat any canned foods, and for parents not to serve any canned foods to their family. Instead, opt for foods that are fresh, frozen, or stored in glass containers. He also advises families to never heat food in plastic, or to use plastic containers with scratches, because that increases the odds of leaching BPA into your food.