Freaking out because bad-for-you chemical BPA’s in and on everything from cash register receipts to cold hard cash? Before you sink into a chemical stew of apathy, take a calm breath — because there’s finally some good news about the bad stuff. Basically, if you avoid BPA in food packaging, you’ll drastically reduce the amount of BPA in your body.

That’s the finding of a study conducted by Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute — who published the new findings in the March issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. The study basically took 20 people from 5 families and measured their BPA levels while they were eating normally. Then for three days, the participants were made to switch their diets to BPA-free, fresh fare, shunning canned foods and plastic-packaged convenience foods. After getting their BPA levels measured, the families went back to their processed-food-eating ways — and got their BPA levels measured again.

The result? As you may have guessed, BPA levels were high when the families ate processed, packaged foods, low when they noshed on fresher fare. Or for a nerdier review of the results, here’s the summary from Environmental Health Perspectives:

Urine levels of BPA and DEHP metabolites decreased significantly during the fresh foods intervention (e.g., BPA geometric mean 3.7 ng/mL pre-intervention and 1.2 ng/mL during intervention; MEHHP geometric mean 57 ng/mL vs 25 ng/mL). The intervention reduced geometric mean concentrations of BPA by 66% and DEHP metabolites by 53-56%. Maxima were reduced by 76% for BPA and 93-96% for DEHP metabolites.
That means that if you’ve been making an effort to avoid BPA in your kitchen, your efforts are working. Not sure how to avoid BPA yet? Ban the can from your pantry, stop microwaving in plastics, and opt for glass and stainless steel reusable containers. Why not reusable plastic containers? BPA-free plastic can still pose problems.

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