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BPA: Fact vs. Hype

The chemical BPA can be harmful to your health. BPA is used to create hard plastic bottles. It also lines the inside of many canned foods to prevent acidic vegetables and fruits from damaging the aluminum cans. In recent years there have been many studies done on products containing BPA, as well as BPA itself, that have showed that it can actually cause some bad side effects for your body. There have also been a lot of tips thrown around to help you avoid taking too much BPA into your system. However, in order to fully understand what BPA is and how it could affect you, you need to understand the facts and the hype surrounding it.

Fact: You Probably Have Traces of BPA in You

Studies have shown that up to 95 percent of Americans have some levels of BPA in their systems right now. If you eat anything that comes out of a can or you ever use anything made from hard plastic, there's a good chance you're taking in some BPA.

Hype: All Plastic Containers Have BPA in Them

While there are many types of hard plastic that do contain BPA, not every single piece of plastic that you come in contact with has BPA in it. Only certain types of hard plastic containers have BPA. You can find out if yours does by looking for the recycling codes on your plastic products. If the plastic has the number seven on it with a triangle around it, you probably have a product that contains BPA. Even if you do, if you avoid heating the plastic in the microwave, there's a good chance you won't get a substantial amount of BPA in your system.

Fact: BPA Has a Number of Harmful Side Effects

Though the studies completed on BPA are not entirely conclusive, there have been some interesting discoveries relating to it. Mostly notably, doctors have found that BPA can cause your estrogen levels to rise dramatically, regardless of whether you're a male or female. In males, this can cause prostate cancer and a lowered sperm count. In females, it can cause breast cancer. In children and even infants, BPA has been shown to promote hyperactivity.

Hype: Even a Little BPA Is Bad for You

This is not necessarily true, so you don't have to throw out all your plastic bottles and canned goods. Prolonged exposure to BPA has been shown to cause negative side effects for your body. But if you're simply using canned goods every now and then, there's a good chance the BPA levels in your body won't affect you at all.

Fact: You Can Avoid Taking BPA into Your System

As an American, you've probably become reliant on canned goods and plastic products. However, there are some easy steps you can take to replace them to avoid BPA altogether. Start eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and only use canned goods when absolutely necessary. Check all of your plastic products to make sure they're not made using BPA.

By taking these facts and hypes into account, you can do more to reduce your BPA levels. This will help you to stay healthy well into the future and reduce your risk of suffering from the dangerous side effects of BPA.

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