Bisphenol A (BPA) — the nasty, endocrine-disrupting chemical linked to cancers and infertility — is ubiquitous, lurking in all sorts of products you use every day, like milk jugs and soup cans. And if you live in the United States, there’s more than a 90 percent chance it’s already in your bloodstream.
On the bright side, you can cut your BPA levels by more than half over the course of just three days, according to a promising report in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Study participants recorded “significant and rapid decreases” in urinary BPA levels after simple changes in their food choices, says study coauthor Janet Gray, PhD, director of Vassar College’s Science, Technology, and Society program.
By eating fresh foods instead of canned, using glass food-storage containers instead of plastic, and following other BPA-free protocol, participants saw their levels plummet by 66 percent in only 72 hours.
Want to reduce your exposure to BPA? Here are a few ways to get started (for more tips, see “Do Away With BPA“).
Drink clean: Even plastics labeled as BPA-free can leach harmful estrogenic chemicals, a recent study finds. Swap all plastic water bottles and storage containers for glass or stainless steel.
Eat in: Restaurants commonly use canned foods and plastic storage containers that increase your BPA exposure. Make your own food and drinks whenever possible.
Skip receipts: A new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that cash-register receipts are coated in a powder containing BPA. Forgo receipts when possible or wash your hands after touching them.
Microwave safely: Don’t nuke food in plastic containers or those covered with plastic lids, since heat speeds the leaching of BPA. Use glass containers in the microwave or reheat food on the stovetop instead.
Brew smarter: Use French press or manual drip systems rather than automatic coffee makers (which may contain BPA-laced plastic water tanks and tubing) or plastic K-Cup-type containers.