Like you, I thought that by buying plastic containers labeled “BPA-free”, I was keeping myself and my family safe.
Many of us know that BPA (bisphenol A) is harmful and contains hormone-disrupting chemicals that mimic estrogen in our body. This can affect brain development, disrupt your hormones and have a negative impact on fertility.
According to an article titled 5 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Toxic BPA by The Environmental Working Group, “Evidence suggests the developing fetus and young child are most at risk, but adolescents also appear uniquely vulnerable. BPA has also been linked to cancer, heart disease, and other serious disorders.”
Clearly, these are important reasons to avoid BPA. However, are BPA-free plastic alternatives safe?
MY EXPERIENCES WITH TOXIC PLASTIC
This became a burning question for me when one of our plastic, reusable straws had fallen to the bottom of the dishwasher overnight and landed on the heating element.
When we woke up the next morning, the whole first floor smelled like burnt plastic, i.e., toxic chemicals! It was even worse when we opened the dishwasher and found that all the “clean” dishes smelled like plastic. The odor was so strong that all the dishes had to be rewashed.
I thought to myself, “Well, this can’t be good.”
I had known for some time that putting plastic plates and containers in the microwave was not recommended since the chemicals could leach out into the food when the plastic was warmed. Yet, why had it not occur to me that this could also be true in the dishwasher?
WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS ABOUT BPA-FREE PLASTIC
So I dug a little deeper and read a lot about the topic, including this blog post published by the Norwex Movement called Plastic in the Dishwasher? I Don’t Think So.
As you can probably imagine, my research revealed that most plastic products, even those that are BPA-Free, release harmful hormone-disrupting chemicals especially when the plastics are stressed or heated.
So it became clear to me that BPA-free plastic is not safe and can have similar, harmful effects on our health, just like BPA. I knew that we needed to avoid plastic products and start looking for healthier alternatives.
Yet, if you’re like me, the thought of eliminating ALL plastic products from your kitchen right away may seem overwhelming at first, and you may be wondering where to begin.
The good news is that I have 5 simple, easy steps that you can take to get started.
5 STEPS TO REDUCING EXPOSURE TO HARMFUL CHEMICALS IN PLASTIC
- Never microwave food in plastic containers.
- Handwash your plastic plates, cups, and containers. If you do put them in the dishwasher, do not use heat during the drying cycle.
- Replace your plastic food storage containers, like Tupperware, with glass alternatives.
- Consider buying food in bulk and limiting individually-wrapped convenience items.
- Download the FREE shopping guide to Healthy Alternatives to Plastic for your home.
These simple tips will help you avoid BPA and BPA-free plastics and find safer alternatives for your family and home. If you are ready to take the next step and reduce your eco-footprint, check out my Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Family.
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Are you already on a journey to a clean living lifestyle that reduces the number of chemicals you are exposed to? What changes have you made in your daily routines? Leave a comment below and let’s help inspire
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