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Avoiding Sources of BPA continued...

For three days, a caterer who had been specially coached to avoid preparing food exposed to chemicals from plastics delivered meals prepared from fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats.

The cooks were instructed to avoid contact with plastic utensils, and nonstick cookware and foods had to be stored in glass containers with BPA-free plastic lids. Researchers even told food preparers not to overfill the containers so the food wouldn’t touch the plastic lid.

Microwaving in plastic was out; so was using coffee makers with plastic parts. Coffee drinkers got their morning coffee from French presses or ceramic drip models.

Participating families gave up water in plastic bottles in favor of stainless steel.

Eating out was also avoided since other studies have shown some restaurant meals to be high in BPA.

By the end of the study, urine tests showed the average BPA level dropped 66%, from 3.7 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) to 1.2 ng/mL. Levels of DEHP metabolites dropped by about half, from 57 ng/mL to 25 ng/ML.

People who started the study with the highest BPA levels saw even bigger reductions -- 76% for BPA and about 95% for DEHP metabolites.

“Especially after finding out the results, we have completely eliminated the plastics and the canned food,” Laurland says. “It’s really very simple things, and overall, those things are healthier for you anyway.”

“What sold me on it is that I can easily take that toxic chemical out of my body and I don’t have to worry about it,” she says.

Why Worry About BPA?

Participants saw their levels drop, but science still doesn’t know whether or not that matters.

“What the question is, is exactly how much risk, and to whom, from this kind of exposure? We’re at a point where that’s still emerging,” Rudel says.

Still, the existing science has been compelling enough for Canada, which banned the use of BPA in baby bottles in 2008.

In the U.S., Eden Organic has started to sell foods in BPA-free cans. Several states have acted to limit the use of BPA, and similar bills are pending around the country.

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