November 4, 2016
BPA Exposure and Fertility Health
istock

I am on a toxic kick right now; diving deeper into everything that we are exposed to (intentionally and unintentionally) with the ability to affect fertility health. According to the CDC (2011-2013 data):

  • 7.5 million women aged 15-44 have impaired fecundity (impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term). Which means that 12.3 % of women aged 15-44 have impaired fecundity.
  • 1.0 million married women aged 15-44 are infertile (unable to get pregnant after at least 12 consecutive months of unprotected sex with partner).
  • 6.1% of married women aged 15-44 are infertile.
  • 6.9 million women aged 15-44 have used infertility services. Which means that 11.3% of women aged 15-44 have used infertility services.

I am not saying that Bis-phenol A (BPA) is the single cause for this infertility, and we are not ever going to be able to place the blame on one culprit. Yet, if BPA exposure alone has the ability to affect aspects of reproductive health such as: "declines in fertility, sexual maturity and pregnancy success," for three generations then limiting exposure is paramount to healthy conception.

BPA Exposure

Fast Facts and What to Do About It:

Thermal paper receipts are a daily source of BPA exposure for most of us. The slick coating on receipts is the source of that exposure. Hand sanitizer increases the absorption of the exposure once touched by the skin. Solutions for the problem? "Can you put the receipt in the bag?" or "I don't need a receipt, thanks." Now, before you jump over and grab your grocery store checker by the collar, yelling, "Don't you know what is happening to you right now? Stop touching that paper!" You can choose differently.

Plastic is the single worst non-compostable material on this earth. As humans we manufacture 100-200 billions pounds of plastic annually (biomasspackaging.com). According to Global Industry Analysts, the global market is expected to reach 6 million tons by 2015 (GIA, 2010), and most of that plastic does not get recycled. Beyond BPA exposure, this is an unsustainable way to live our lives. The environmental impact is extensive. Now, all plastic products have a triangle on the bottom of side of the packaging with a number listed inside. Remember the saying: 4, 5, 1, and 2 all the rest are bad for you when purchasing plastic products. Number 3, 6, and 7 should be avoided unless listed as a bio-mass product. Choose packaging such as glass, wood, and stainless steel for reuse.

Once in food or packaging, BPA is effective at transferring from one host to another. This is of great concern in the case of a mother and her fetus. As prevalent as this synthetic estrogen is, one study of particular profound determined that in "just a three-day period of limiting intake of packaged foods, it decreased the concentrations of BPA found in urine by an average 65 percent (Rudel, 2011). What does that mean? It means if you limit exposure, you can detox the chemical via urine.

As far as BPA exposure to your children? In 2012, the FDA banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, and in 2013 it banned the epoxy lining in infant formula cans. No such luck with a ban for use in toys, bowls, and utensils. Quite frankly, most baby product companies had already voluntarily made the switch away from BPA in their products before the FDA determined this ban. Nevertheless, look for wooden toys, bowls, and utensils as a alternative to plastic. Don't worry, we don't suggest glass toys for your littles!
Kit gloves are not the answer. Awareness is key. Limit the exposure of BPA in your life by changing your daily purchases and decisions to empowered and educated ones. Glass, stainless steel, and wood are great alternatives to help decrease daily exposure.
Sources:
Rudel, Ruthann A., et. al, Food Packaging and Bisphenol A and Bis(2-Ethyhexyl) Phthalate Exposure: Findings from a Dietary Intervention, Silent Spring Institute, Newton, Massachusetts, USA, 2 Breast Cancer Fund, San Francisco, California, USA, 3 Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA, 4 AXYS Analytical Services, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, 2011
Ayelet Ziv-Gal, Wei Wang, Changqing Zhou, Jodi A. Flaws. The effects of in utero bisphenol A exposure on reproductive capacity in several generations of mice. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2015.03.003