How would you like to possibly lower your family’s bisphenol A (BPA) levels in just three days? It may sound wacky, but a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives shows that if you avoid commercial food packaging, you can very likely quickly lower the BPA levels in your body. Study researchers gathered data about the typical daily diets of 20 participants in five families. Then these participants were asked to eat a diet of fresh, non-packaged foods (no cans or plastic containers) for three days before returning to their normal diets. Keep reading to learn about the astounding study results.
Study set-up and results:
During the study, researchers gathered evening urine samples from the study participants. The results – during the three days that the families avoided foods packaged in plastics and cans, urine levels of BPA and phthalates decreased significantly. In fact, when the families ate food packaged in only glass or stainless steel containers, BPA levels were reduced, on average, by 66% and phthalate metabolites were reduced by 53-56%. After the families went back to their normal diets; diets that included foods packaged in plastic or cans, their BPA levels returned to their previously higher levels almost immediately.
What this study means for your family:
Something important to consider is that the families participating weren’t eating tons and tons of packaged foods to begin with. For example, the SFGate talked to one of the the families involved in the study and found that this family already didn’t eat many pre-packaged foods, yet their preliminary BPA levels exceeded the national average. Not that this is a new discovery. Even if you’re careful; even if you eat mostly organic; even if you avoid plastics most of the time – you may still have a high level of chemicals stored up in your body. An excellent example is the 2009 Study of Toxic Chemicals in Residents of the Green Mountain State, which investigated the chemical body burden of various individuals.
The individuals involved in the Green Mountain study were people already invested in healthy living, such as Katy Farber of Non-Toxic Kids and organic farmer and vegetarian David Zuckerman. You’d expect their chemical burdens to be lower than average, yet the Green Mountain study showed that everyone and anyone living here in the U.S. can be affected by BPA, flame retardants, pesticides and much more. This country does little to protect consumers from chemicals. Until the United States catches on to the benefits of chemical regulation reform, you can somewhat protect your own family from chemicals by doing the following:
- Use glass and stainless steel containers.
- Avoid canned foods and food packaged in plastics.
- Avoid vinyl flooring and wallpaper.
- Never microwave food in plastic containers.
- Choose chemical-free baby toys.
- Avoid plastic water bottles.
- Buy fresh foods and bulk foods when possible, avoiding pre-packaged, prepared food items.