Plastics have permeated our society, used in almost every product or food service.  However, some of the convenience and low-cost of using plastic may be causing other problems later on.

A new study from Harvard and the CDC show that baby girls who are exposed to the chemical BPA, found commonly in plastics, may develop behavior problems as children.  Researchers measured BPA levels in the urine of pregnant women and performed surveys when the children were 3 years old.  They discovered that higher levels of BPA during pregnancy were associated with 3-year-old girls who had poor emotional control as well as more anxious and depressed behavior.

Hormones are chemical messengers essential for normal function.  Altered levels of hormones can be detrimental to the health and development of the baby, especially brain development.  Because BPA and other chemicals found in plastics are endocrine-disruptors, they can act like hormones and affect brain development.  Study co-author, Joe Braun said BPA exposure “may be a risk factor for ADHD.”

BPA is one of many chemicals in plastics that can be dangerous to your health.  Think about all the plastic in your life.  Water bottles.  Food containers.  Children’s toys.  Even the lining of food cans have plastic to prevent the “metal taste” in your food.  While you may not be able to escape it completely, you can take a few steps to help protect yourself.

  1. Eat fresh.  Foods that are prepackaged in plastic or cans can have BPA leach into them.  Buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats.
  2. Use glass alternatives.  Replace your food storage containers and water bottles with glass alternatives.  Even some metal water bottles use a plastic liner!
  3. If you must, use BPA-free containers.  Baby bottles, water bottles, and other plastics are now advertising BPA-free plastics.  Use those!
  4. Never heat plastics.  The microwave or dishwasher will cause more BPA to leach out.
  5. Join Pathways Connect Gathering Group to learn more.  Pathways to Family Wellness magazine is a great resource for parents wanting to raise a healthy family.  Our office leads a monthly discussion group for parents interested in learning more about natural health options.