Reducing your daily exposure to plastic and chemicals such as BPAs can go a long way to supporting your health through menopause. “How is this even possible” you ask when it is in pretty much everything around us? Although plastic exposure is almost impossible to avoid (if you don’t live on an island and grow your own food), you can reduce your exposure to it through daily life. Below you’ll find 5 ways to reduce your exposure to BPAs.
What is BPA and where is it found?
BPA (bisphenol A) is just one of many industrial chemicals used to create micro plastics. BPA is regularly found in:
- water bottles
- shatterproof windows
- the resin that coats some metal food cans
- bottle caps
- water supply pipes
- Polyester/nylon Clothing
- Food/food packaging
Why should you worry about plastic exposure through menopause?
In researching this topic, I was unable to find anything directly linking exposure to chemicals (such as BPA and micro plastics) to health issues during menopause, but it has been scientifically shown to impact your endocrine system…the very system responsible for balancing your hormone levels through menopause. In the scientific community these chemicals are labelled endocrine disruptors, acting like estrogen, directly interfering with your body’s natural hormone receptors and hormone uptake.
As you head into menopause, your body works hard to balance out your ever reducing hormones levels, trying to maintain enough support for your brain, breasts, bones and more. If, over your lifetime, exposure to BPA and micro plastics has been high and we know that they wreak havoc with your endocrine system, how can it not affect you through menopause?
Even low exposure to plastics has been shown to have a biological affect on your body, leaving it vulnerable to diseases such as heart disease and breast cancer.
How are you exposed to these disruptors?
Chemicals and micro plastics are found everywhere…they are in your food, clothing, the air you breathe and products you touch.
According to the WWF the average human consumes about 5gms of plastic each week and accumulated over a lifetime…well that’s a lot of plastic in your body. The CDC conducted a urine test on 2500 Americans age 6 and older and found BPA in 93% of them!
So you may not be able to eliminate BPA and micro plastics in your day to day life, but you can certainly learn more about the products and foods you use. Look for better alternatives, better products and better ways to live a healthier, cleaner life. If you’ve never heard of Environmental Working Group, please check out their website. They are a not for profit organization made up of scientists, researchers, lawyers and data experts working hard to inform us all about products that can have a heavy impact on your day to day health.
5 ways to reduce your exposure to BPAs
- Shop locally – plastic free/bulk stores are popping up all around major cities and it may be a great way to shop. Take in your glass containers
- Avoid buying your food in prepackaged plastic or styrofoam containers – invest in a good stainless steel coffee mug and visit your local farmers markets for fresh ingredients to cook.
- Don’t drink out of plastic bottles/containers/styrofoam – this includes fruit/vegetable juices, water, pop, iced or hot coffee/tea
- Please don’t heat your food in the microwave using plastic containers – this includes prepacked foods! Use glass containers when possible.
- Try to reduce and eliminate household plastics & chemicals – including cleaning solutions, plastic wraps, air fresheners, furniture polish and wipes.
***Honorable mention includes products that you apply to your skin (cosmetics, lotions, shampoo, facial scrubs etc.). Check out www.ewg.org/skindeep/ for more help and information!
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