Reported health hazards of BPA are piling up
Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 8, 2013 at 1:18 p.m.
The latest “Superman” earned $44 million in box-office receipts the first Friday it opened. Considering how cash-register receipts are laced with bisphenol A, you might have to be a Man of Steel to dodge their often-reported health hazards.
News about the risks of this hormone-disrupting chemical is piling up. One new study found pre-pubescent girls with higher-than-average levels of BPA in their urine were twice as likely to be obese. And others suggest exposure — in utero and early in life — to BPA alters fetal stem cells, making males susceptible to infertility and prostate cancer. And be aware that BPA-free products may contain an even more risky relative called BPS.
But an extensive investigation of the potential dangers by the Food and Drug Administration concluded: “BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods.” That makes it tough to know what to think or do about limiting BPA exposure found in the lining of food cans and everything from sunglasses to paper receipts.
Our advice: If you're pregnant or have young children, avoid foods packaged in plastics, and any container with the recycle code No. 7 on the bottom. Don't microwave hard, clear plastics. Store meats and veggies in wax paper or glass containers. Dodge receipts. If you touch one, wash your hands soon — and always before touching a child. If BPA from receipts goes from your hands to food, you get a dose 1,000 times greater than from BPA-lined cans. The rest of you? Be safe and follow the same steps.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.