bpa in canned foods

How Much BPA and Mercury Are Safe?

by Kelley Herring on June 29, 2009

If you’re under the impression that “a little won’t hurt you”, I have some startling news.

Recent research found that invisible, health-harming chemicals in our foods (and topical products too) rapidly accumulate in our bodies – even with the small, normal amounts commonly eaten or applied.

The problem is that these common chemicals disrupt our hormones, encourage weight gain and even promote diseases including breast cancer, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s and more.

A new book entitled Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects our Health, set out to determine how the body handles these chemicals and just how much is safe. And the authors found the answer.

There is no safe level.

BPA Levels Skyrocket in Blood in Just 2 Days

For several days, one of the authors carefully avoided any foods that could be contaminated with the chemical, bisphenol-a (BPA). This is a chemical in canned food liners and plastic food containers that has been linked to breast and prostate cancer. He then had his blood levels of BPA tested.

Once this baseline was established, the author restricted his diet exclusively to canned foods that were heated in a microwave using a polycarbonate plastic container. He did this for only two days.

The result: a 7,500% increase in bisphenol-a in his blood.

Eat Tuna, Increase Mercury By 2500%

The case was similar for mercury – a known neurotoxin linked to a laundry list of health problems including autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and many more.

In the study, one of the authors abstained from fish for a month and had his mercury levels tested. Then, over a two day period, he ate tuna sandwiches for lunch and either sushi or a tuna steak for dinner. The result: a 2,500% increase in the level of mercury in his blood.

But it’s not just mercury and BPA. There are dozens of these chemicals that we’re exposed to every day including organochlorines / organophosphates (found in conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables), phthlates (in scented toiletries and plastics), triclosan (in antibacterial products), perflourinated compounds (in cookware), PCBs (in farm-raised fish), dioxins (in conventional meats) and more.

The best way to avoid these invisible health-robbers is:

  • Eat only organic foods free from biocides (pesticides, fungicides, etc)
  • Eat only grass-fed meat, wild fish and organic dairy products
  • Avoid personal products made with chemicals
  • Use only safe cookware (you’ll learn about the many varieties in our Healthy Cooking center)
  • Avoid canned foods, or opt for products that come from BPA-free cans (Eden Foods and Vital Choice are two brands which use BPA-free cans)
  • Avoid fish known to be high in mercury (tuna, swordfish, tilefish, shark, marlin and others). Learn about safe sustainable seafood here.

Learn more about where these chemicals are found and the easy ways to avoid them, PLUS the natural, effective ways to cleanse these disease-promoting toxins from your body in our Detox Diet center.

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About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.


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