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At Least 90% of Pregnant Women Test Positive for BPA. 5 Ways To Reduce Your BPA Exposure

By Rebecca Odes |

bisphenol a from water bottlesHere’s some more disturbing info about Bisphenol A.  A study of pregnant women in Ohio found that 90% (or more!) of pregnant women had high levels of Bisphenol A in their bloodstream. This, after the story saying pregnant mice exposed to BPA passed genetic changes onto their offspring. Yikes.

Bisphenol A is a synthetic estrogen that’s used in a huge variety of the products we come into contact with. The Ohio study traced BPA exposure to three main sources:

1. cigarette smoke

2. store receipts

3. canned foods.

Highest levels were found in women who had regular exposure to at least one of these three sources. Cigarette smoke is obviously doing nobody any good healthwise, pregnant or not. But who knew being a store cashier was such a risky job in pregnancy?

Read on for 5 simple ways you can cut down on your pregnancy BPA exposure from now on.

1. Think before you take a receipt. Do you really need it? If you’re using a credit card, the answer is often no.

2. Keep any receipts you do get in a separate wallet or pouch; don’t let them float around in your purse spreading the BPA love around, and definitely don’t hold them in your hand.

3. Wash your hands after you touch receipts, and maybe after any cashier transaction, especially before eating.

4. Avoid canned foods unless you know the brand doesn’t use BPA in its can liners. Here’s a list of canned foods that are BPA free.

5. Avoid cigarette smoke, not just smoking. Secondhand smoke is a strong source of BPA. If you’re around someone who smokes, give them this new informatino. Maybe it’ll be the push they need to quit!

photo: Daquella Manera/flickr

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About Rebecca Odes


Rebecca Odes

Rebecca Odes is a writer, artist and mother. She was inspired to write her blog, From The Hips, during her first pregnancy when she discovered every pregnancy book she came across made her feel anxious or irritated. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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9 thoughts on “At Least 90% of Pregnant Women Test Positive for BPA. 5 Ways To Reduce Your BPA Exposure

  1. Michael J. McFadden says:

    I kind of thought I knew the result before I even started researching it, but after close to an hour of searching, including through the entire bodies of BOTH the major Surgeon Generals’ Reports on ETS, I was able to find NOTHING indicating any significant quantified levels of BPA in secondary tobacco smoke. Indeed, aside from a lot of the standard folklorish “Everything that’s bad has to be somewhere in smoke too!” statements like the ones in this article simply asserting that it’s there, I found NOTHING to actually support the contention.

    Is this just another of the many cases I’ve seen where Antismokers simply pick on an emotionally vulnerable subpopulation and take advantage of their situation to play social engineering games with their minds?

    If anyone actually HAS a good source with real figures for such ETS exposures to BPA please share them here. Otherwise I think Rebecca and Babble should run a corrective article.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  2. Rebecca says:

    MIchael, the association is made in the original study. Here’s a link:

  3. [...] used almost everywhere. It's in almost all of us. It does weird things to rodents and it may be doing weird things to us—but it's tough to be [...]

  4. Michael J. McFadden says:

    Thank you Rebecca! Very few reporters or bloggers actually do their research or are willing to back up their references, but you seem to have done both! :)

    The study does indeed find a statistically significant correlation between BPA blood levels and ETS exposure. It should be pointed out however that it is only about half as large as that produced by eating canned vegetables. It should also be noted that while the correlation is significant there’s no indication of there actually being any BPA measured in smoke, although the authors do point out that it’s not unreasonable to think there might be due to the presence of BPA in filters 25 years ago. Heh… fortunately I smoke RYO non-filters! LOL!

    So while I still might quibble a little around the edges of your listing cigarette smoke as the first item in your list it would be a small quibble, and I apologize for the harshness with which I judged your effort. Thank you for the pointer to the full study!

    I would like to add one more thing though: While doing the research earlier it seemed to me that the levels of BPA exposure from any or all of the media might be far below any levels shown to cause any harm. While one can alway say “It’s a good thing to minimize exposures to ANYTHING while pregnant.” it’s also true that as practical matter in life there are no such things as zero exposures to just about anything. There’s a downside to worrying about possible risks where the possibilities are so slight that they distract people from concerns about more significant ones… and I kind of wonder if the “BPA scare” might be such a case.

    - MJM

  5. Michael J. McFadden says:

    {I meant to note: your example of hesitancy in “taking a receipt” is the sort of thing I’m thinking of regarding a level of concern that’s beyond the bounds of reasonableness since I believe that even the cashiers’ levels are higly unlikely to be harmful and they would be thousands of times higher than what you get taking a receipt. – MJM

  6. [...] Declares BPA Toxic It’s used almost everywhere. It’s in almost all of us. It does weird things to rodents and it may be doing weird things to us—but it’s tough to [...]

  7. [...] used almost everywhere. It’s in almost all of us. It does weird things to rodents and it may be doing weird things to us—but it’s tough to [...]

  8. Rebecca says:

    I agree that the ultimate impact of a single receipt is probably nil. But think of all the other behaviors that are discouraged during pregnancy that are similarly unlikely to be harmful—and those behaviors actually have benefits. If a woman is going to be told to avoid a sip of wine because of the theoretical (and arguably nonexistent) risk of causing her baby harm, it follows that something with a similar suspected risk but without any real benefit should at least be considered optional.

  9. thomas london says:

    Women are known to carry one-of-a-kind coach purse to add some bling to any subtle outfit.

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