10 Steps to Remove BPA from
Your Body in Less Than a Week

BPA is Everywhere.

It’s in everything we touch, everything we eat, everything we buy: it’s hidden in grocery store receipts and beauty products, in coffee cups and soda cans, in the very food and water we need to live. So, what’s the big deal? We’ve survived so far. Or… have we? Cancer and autoimmune disease rates continue to rise steadily. In 2009, EWG tests found estrogen-disrupting  levels of BPA in 9 of 10 umbilical cord blood samples. We all have BPA in our bodies. There’s nothing we can do about it. Right?

You can Remove BPA from Your Body.

And you can do it in less than a week. BPA is metabolized by the body very quickly. A recent study found that participants were able to reduce the levels of BPA in their body by 65% in three days just by avoiding packaged foods¹. By eliminating additional hidden sources of BPA in your environment you can increase that number, as well as reducing many other toxic chemicals that are found in plastics like phthalates, and polyethylene. Here’s how.

 

1. Just Say No to BPA-loaded Receipts

Did you know that some receipts contain 250 to 1,000 times the amount of BPA typically found in a can of food?²  If that isn’t scary enough, BPA transfers readily from the receipt to skin and cannot be washed off. Different types of receipts contain varying levels of BPA. If you aren’t sure whether or not a merchant uses BPA in their receipts, either ask directly or let them know early in the transaction that you will not need your receipt. Gas station receipts are particularly notorious for containing huge amounts of BPA.

 

2. Avoid Packaged Food

True, you might have to give up potato chips. But, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. So, what will you possibly eat? There are many safe options available to replace the packaged staples in your kitchen. You can buy fresh bread from the bakery in paper, milk in glass bottles, bring a glass container for cheese and meat from the deli, buy cereal in bulk, get beans and grains from the bulk bin in your own cloth or paper bag. Forgo the packaged salad greens for unpackaged – use cloth or paper bags in the produce aisle.

3. Switch to a Safe BPA-free Water Bottle

You know that funny taste that your plastic water bottle gets when you leave it in the sun? That’s the taste of chemicals leaching into your water. Doesn’t sound very refreshing, does it? There are many safe stainless steel and glass alternatives to plastic bottles. My favorites are those made with 100% safe glass, with stainless steel or silicone in place of a plastic top. Three great options are from VesselBottles UP and Bkr. If you choose a stainless steel option, make sure to get one that is not lined with plastic. Kleen Kanteen is a safe choice. While you’re at it, skip the water cooler for fill-ups. Those big plastic jugs are loaded with BPA too. Tap is safer.

Update, May 2013
Clarification: FILTERED Tap is safer. I do not promote the idea of drinking unfiltered tap water. This is not any safer than drinking plastic bottled water. Read about a good (and plastic-free) way to filter your tap water here.

 

4. Store Food in Glass

Did you know that even “safe” plastics can leach toxic chemicals³ once they are washed in a dishwasher or scrubbed with detergent and a sponge? Why take the chance? Ditch those plastic tubs in place of safe all-glass alternatives. For on the go or smaller items, forgo plastic wrap and plastic sandwich bags in place of small glass containers, wax paper bags, or parchment paper.

5. Avoid Canned Foods

92% of all canned food is lined with BPA coating. Look for alternatives in glass jars (most will have BPA lined lids but overall contamination is much less) or stick to these safe BPA-free brands: Eden Foods (except tomatoes), Wild Planet tuna, Vital Choice tuna, Native Forest  and Native Factor canned goods.

6. Give up Soda

Believe it or not, even aluminum soda cans are lined with BPA. If you can’t give up soda, you can always buy a brand that comes in a glass bottle.

 

7. Eat at Home

Most  food  in restaurants originates from highly packaged sources or is stored in plastic. As a result, almost all restaurant food is loaded with BPA. Eating at home and bringing your lunch to work more often will help reduce the BPA in your body.

 

plastic-free coffee

8. Make your Own Coffee

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a local coffee shop that brews in glass, a cup of  to-go coffee comes in contact with BPA during each stage of the brewing process. From the plastic bag the beans are stored in, to the hot plastic coffee maker it’s brewed in, the thermos it’s kept hot in, and the plastic – lined cup it’s served in.

For a BPA- free brew, buy beans from bulk, store in glass, and drip brew with paper filters, a stainless steel  Coava filter and Chemex glass carafe, or stainless steel french press. Pour into a ceramic cup and, voila! BPA-free coffee to go.

 

9. Buy Personal-care Products in Glass, Paper or Metal.

BPA, phthalates, and other toxic chemicals can leach into beauty products from a plastic container and absorb into your skin. Work to eventually phase out these items by replacing them with safe-packaged alternatives as they run out. If you are on a budget, most beauty products can be made from simple ingredients.

 

 10. Replace Plastic Items with Safer Alternatives

Because BPA, phthalates and other plasticizers are not chemically bound to the plastics they’re added to, they are continuously released into our air and transferred to our skin when touched. Begin to replace plastic items in your household as you are able. Children are especially vulnerable to plastic chemical exposure. Gradually replace children’s toys and tableware with safer, non-plastic options. Even choosing natural fibers over synthetic clothing (did you know spandex is made of plastic?) can reduce the amount of plastic chemicals stored in your body.

 

Of course, we can never completely eliminate plastic from our lives

But, the more plastic we avoid, the less BPA in our bodies. Have I eliminated synthetic clothing? Um, no. And I do eat a bag of potato chips now and then. Although it can be done in 3 days, gradual changes will result in a slow and steady reduction of BPA too. It’s all about knowing how BPA gets into our bodies and cultivating an awareness of plastic so we can consider opportunities to avoid it. It’s about empowering ourselves with the knowledge to make healthy choices.

 

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64 Comments

  1. tcrozier
    Jul 14, 2011

    Those tall glass jars in the photo above are really nice! Do you know what kind those are? Would like to add some taller jars to our collection! Thanks! This was a REALLY informative article! Thanks again!

    • jen
      Jul 14, 2011

      Hi! The tall jars above are Weck jars… my very favorite for all glass food storage. They come in many useful shapes and sizes. You can buy them online at http://www.weckcanning.com/ but you may want to try and find them locally first, the shipping can add up. If you are in the Portland, Oregon area (where I live) they have a great selection at http://www.homesteadsupplyco.com/ in Sellwood.

  2. Marcie
    Jul 14, 2011

    Love this BLOG! I was thinking…it is very hard here in the southeastern United States to carry our lunches without the items being ‘humidity ruined’ if not in a sealed container AND glass is not a safe option for children’s school lunches. However, we have chosen a BPA safe option of stainless steel food and drink containers (you have one pictured with blueberries, strawberries and peas) and we enjoy our food unspoiled.

    • jen
      Jul 14, 2011

      I love the idea of school lunches in Stainless Steel! We just got a couple of lunch bots too… really liking them so far. Do they do well in humidity? I used to live in NC for a couple years and can see how that could be a factor.

  3. Jennifer @ kidoing!
    Jul 22, 2011

    I love your blog! I especially love that picture of your refrigerator shelf. How beautiful everything looks in those glass jars.

  4. MarcieAF
    Jan 6, 2012

    We love life factory’s glass water bottles. I pack my kids school lunches in Kids Konserve stainless steel containers.

  5. taylor
    Feb 4, 2012

    love your site…what format did you use to create it??? if you ever
    need a great vegan eco printer….check out my husbands company

    http://www.SEEDsprinting.com

  6. gail
    Apr 17, 2012

    i work as a cashier in a co-op and am touching receipt paper all day….what can i do?

    • jen
      Jul 16, 2012

      Hi Gail-

      Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to your post. I think the best thing you could do is talk to the co-op owners and let them know about your concerns and also let them know that there are non-toxic receipt options available for them to use instead.

      • Brian
        Oct 23, 2013

        Ask your manager to provide you with latex gloves.

    • nat
      Feb 5, 2013

      wear gloves!! lol

    • Jude
      Apr 23, 2013

      You could also purchase (or ask your employer to purchase) BPA free surgical gloves in boxes, which are inexpensive. Your employer is unlikely to mind and your customers will think you’re being extra sanitary for their protection (even though a gloved hand is no more safe than a washed, ungloved hand, of course).

      • jen
        May 2, 2013

        Excellent idea Jude, I never thought of this before.

        • Terry
          May 12, 2013

          It’s great to believe that gloves are a solution, but this article (http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/61740/description/Cashiers_may_face_special_risks_from_BPA) points out that gloves do nothing to prevent BPA from contact with skin… in fact, it makes it worse, since the BPA molecules are small enough to MIGRATE through the gloves, penetrating it, and resulting in constant contact with your hands/skin, which is much worse than without the gloves.

          I don’t know if this is limited to only rubber gloves. I recently accepted a cashier’s position and am now wondering whether not to go through with it because of my BPA-receipt handling concerns.

  7. Trish
    Aug 22, 2012

    A second large study has just proven a direct link between heart disease and BPA. See http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/769434?src=nldne

    Thanks for your hints and advice to reduce and prevent BPA in our bodies.

    • jen
      May 2, 2013

      Thanks for the link Trish – sad to see more bad news about BPA, but not unexpected!

  8. Anne
    Sep 4, 2012

    I love this article! Eliminating plastic/ BPA seems impossible; however,when I read your post I thought avoiding BPA is not difficult that much. The reason why I want to stay away from plastic and BPA (but it’s impossible!) is they are toxic for human body and I want to save energy for everything related with making plastic. Furthermore, I don’t believe recycled plastic because it can be saving Petroleum but other energy will be used for making recycled plastic! What’s do you think about it, Jen?

    By the way, I will choose sustainable tableware made from rice husk instead of recycled plastic tableware :)

    • bob
      Jan 6, 2013

      what’s wrong with a stainless steel set?

      • lgreen1
        Oct 25, 2013

        Stainless steel is not exactly a safe alternative to plastic because of the high nickel content in most stainless. Nickel is also very toxic and something to consider when you purchase cookware and utensils. Also, nickel is harder to avoid than BPA! It isn’t on anyone’s radar screens yet like BPA is so finding items with low or no nickel content requires quite a bit of detective work. Right now, I am primarily using low-toxic “teflon” and micro-ceramic pans until I find something better. Sigh.

  9. lexiejrunge1410
    Sep 19, 2012

    I’m assuming BPA is also in dog food cans and packaging, and is not good for them either? Do you know of any alternatives?

  10. d
    Oct 29, 2012

    Wow you almost completely discredit yourself as a competant intelligent person when you advocate the use of TAP water over using purified water from plastic jugs! Are you seriously believing that its better for someone to drink tap water with dozens of horrible substances in it , than purified water thats been stored in bpa containing plastic? Ill bet theres more bpa in tap water anyway, along with a cocktail of other toxins like flouride chlorine and various heavy metals to go with it.Theres way that tap water be a better alternative for good health!

    • d
      Oct 29, 2012

      last line is “theres no way that tap water would be a better alternative for good health.” (sorry all the bpa caused me to mess that up.)

    • jen
      May 2, 2013

      Actually, There IS a way that tap water can be a better alternative for good health. You can read more about my personal solution I’ve tried out here. BTW, you could really benefit from some lessons in comment etiquette. I am a competent and intelligent person, you simply didn’t take the time to read the rest of my blog before posting a very rude comment about what you *think* I’m advocating. I think that properly FILTERED tap water is safer than purified water in plastic jugs. Also, you are free to bring a glass 5 gallon jug to the store with you, fill it up there and avoid the plastic jug altogether which I mention as well on my blog in another post. So, two great alternatives for you right there. You’re welcome.

  11. Michael
    Jan 6, 2013

    Hello there! What if I transfer those plastic bottled water to a glass container. Would that BPA thingy disappear? I live in Dubai and I’m afraid to drink tap water:(

    • Jude
      Apr 23, 2013

      Are you able to purchase a water filter that attaches to your faucet? Alternately, are there any natural stores that sell reverse osmosis filtered water (deionized is best)? There are BPA free (albeit plastic) containers for transport and storage.

    • jen
      May 2, 2013

      BPA will not disappear when transferred from plastic to glass. Are you able to filter your tap water and place it in glass?

  12. Suzi
    Jan 28, 2013

    But….what about our refrigerators???? They seem to be the biggest risk. I cannot afford to replace my 9 year old refrigerator. Is there a way to know if it is putting BPA in my food? The interior and drawers are made of plastic.

    • jen
      May 2, 2013

      As I say below, pick the battles you can win or you will become overwhelmed and discouraged! I struggled with this at first too, and tried to keep my food sealed in glass containers whenever possible.

  13. bob v
    Apr 2, 2013

    what about dishwashers with plastic wash tubs plastic on the parts you put your dishes on. they get very hot and splash hot soapy water all over your dishes then dry them in high heat ?? good for ya you think your starilizing your dishes ?? but are you poisining your family ???

    • jen
      May 2, 2013

      Yes, realistically, you are absolutely correct. Heated plastic is the worst case scenario in so many ways. Through my journey trying to avoid plastic, I’ve learned that it’s best to pick the battles you can win or you will just overwhelm yourself and become discouraged. I do know that there are some completely stainless steel dishwashers out there – more power to the people who can afford these appliances. Until the rest of us can, perhaps don’t dry on the high heat setting and do a cold rinse if at all possible. Or, wash by hand!

  14. Kirsten
    Apr 19, 2013

    Thank you for this rational, insightful post!
    It’s great to find constructive steps individuals can take to reduce exposure to BPA. I went out and bought some solid shampoo right away – am interested to see how it works.
    I would suggest that people also contact their favorite stores and coffee shops to encourage those businesses to eliminate the use of products and packaging that contain BPA.
    I wrote to several grocery store chains encouraging them to stop using receipt paper that contains BPA, and was encouraged by responses from several (Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, New Seasons and Fred Meyer) saying that they have discontinued use of that type of receipt paper.

    • jen
      May 2, 2013

      Thanks for the feedback Kirsten, good luck on your Journey!

  15. Laurie Callihan, PhD
    May 2, 2013

    I find it funny that after going through all this you say that “tap” water is fine. It most certainly is not. Unless you are blessed to live where there is healthy spring water like in the Adirondack mountains where I grew up. Tap water is laden with all manner of unsafe chemicals, the most harmful of which is chlorine that destroys intestinal flora and causes many other detrimental body effects (think – drink bleach) and flouride (google it – no it isn’t necessary for your teeth). Not to mention whatever might be hovering in the pipes that carry your water – YUKKKKK!

    • jen
      May 2, 2013

      Hi Laurie-

      I’m confused as to where you are finding the information on my site that “tap water is fine”. It most certainly is not. I do say that it is “safer”. This is only my opinion, and based on the idea that one would be filtering this water first. I use a Berkey water filtration system through which I process all the tap water my family drinks. To read more about this system and my experiences with it, you can reference this post.

      While most water filtration systems have their own specific drawbacks – they are either made of plastic or barely filter anything in the first place – in my opinion, FILTERED tap water is a safer alternative to bottled water – which is usually straight from a tap in some processing factory anyway. I am lucky enough to live in Portland Oregon, where we have one of the cleanest and safest tap water supplies in the U.S. However, even our water safety is at risk – we have a ballot measure up for vote this month that proposes adding Fluoride chemicals into our water supply. I’m glad I bought the Berkey Filter back in 2011, one of the best investments I’ve made in the past two years, IMHO. The water tastes great and is pure and clean.

      Can I just restate for the record that I do not think that unfiltered tap water OR bottled water are safe? Neither are. Even the alternatives are slight improvements at best. Unfortunately, there are not many good solutions out there.

    • Rose
      Jun 13, 2013

      Not all tap water has chorine. My city water does not. They keep a very close eye on and do a lot of testing to make sure the water is as clean yet as chemical-free as possible. Having done my own water testing, I’ve seen for myself what’s in it. It really depends where you are.

  16. Greg
    May 25, 2013

    Thanks for all the useful information here. My question is in regards to something called Invisaglin Braces worn for long periods to correct misalglined teeth. These type of braces are made of plastic. For what it’s worth my dentist says these type of braces are safe, but he may be only repeating what he’s been told. Also, what about hand sanitizers? Are they safe to use?

  17. Darryl
    Jun 17, 2013

    Hi! Very useful tip on this article! It’s the small tweaks that make the largest shift. Very much appreciated information!

  18. Georgie
    Aug 15, 2013

    I would really like to know which kind of glass does not seep and if typical glass seeps then what is it releasing? As a cook for a senior, making pureed foods to store in the fridge for a couple of days until I get there next, I need to find glass containers like small canning jars (are they safe?)with lids that I can readily purchase at local stores like walmart or safeway or co op here in Canada. Please let there be easily accessible safe glass to be had by all. Thank you for your great site.Georgie

  19. Mr C
    Sep 4, 2013

    thahnks for the tips from dennis

  20. Cynthia Lawton
    Sep 8, 2013

    Does moving food purchased in plastic containers to glass help reduce BPA? For example, I just bought some organic honey but it’s in plastic with no recycling number on the container (I live in Europe). I am wondering if there is any value in moving it to a glass container now. I would avoid purchasing it in the future.

  21. SandraG
    Oct 2, 2013

    Consumers just can’t win!

    BEWARE OF BPA – FREE

    BPA FREE Goods Still Contain Toxin Bisphenol, the petrochemical bisphenol A (BPA), a ubiquitous ingredient in thousands of consumer products and which has been linked to a wide range of serious adverse health effects. It has been removed by many ostensibly scrupulous manufacturers in favor of another equally toxic analog in the same chemical class, known as bisphenol S (BPS). This has enabled manufacturers of products as varied as thermal printer receipts to sippy cups to advertise their products as “BPA-free,” while still exposing consumers to potentially harmful, and less regulated chemicals.

    BPS is actually not only within the same range of toxicity of BPA, but is slower to degrade, and therefore will be more likely to remain a persistent toxin and environmental pollutant.

  22. Kyle
    Oct 3, 2013

    As I read this article i cannot help but notice my hand on my plastic mouse, and now as I type on my plastic keyboard. Plastic is everywhere. Great article thanks for the information.

  23. puzzled
    Nov 29, 2013

    Good grief! Why in the world is BPA used on paper?

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