Your children may have a difficult time coming up with interesting and nutritious lunches. While some kids don’t mind eating the same thing every day, others need variety. For all kids, safety and health come first, which is why you should consider another aspect of lunchtime: your child’s lunch container.
Families often don’t realize the importance of packing their children’s lunches in BPA-free lunch boxes. BPA, however, is a hazardous chemical that can be transferred from a plastic container to a child’s food, exposing them to a variety of risks. Bento lunch boxes made of metal, which are BPA-free, are a great way to protect your kids from this chemical. Here is everything you need to know about BPA and why you should avoid it.
What Is BPA?
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical that is used to make polycarbonate plastics strong. Additionally, epoxy resins can be made from it, which are used to make liners that prevent metal corrosion. Many products contain BPA today, including plastic containers, canned foods, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, thermal printer receipts, CDs and DVDs, eyeglass lenses, water bottles, baby bottles, bottle tops, and even water supply pipes. There are many plastic products that still contain BPA, and it is important to carefully read labels and do research before purchasing plastic products, even though many producers have switched to different types of plastic that do not contain harmful chemicals. Plastics with a 7 classification, which are recyclable, may contain BPA, while containers with a 1, 2, or 5 classification are safer.
The History of BPA
It was invented in 1891 by Thomas Zincke of the University of Marburg, Germany, and was first discussed in a scientific paper in 1905. During the 1950s, when plastics of all kinds became extremely popular thanks to new materials, processes, and design techniques, this plastic compound was widely used. BPA was discovered to contain artificial estrogen in the 1930s. The dangers of this chemical were ignored, and BPA was still used.
1953 saw the invention of polycarbonate plastic, which is made of BPA and phosgene COC12. Due to its durability, it became one of the most popular materials in fuse boxes, displays, and plug connections. Plastic bottles and can liners were eventually made from it, and it was approved for use in food packaging in the 1960s.
A Stanford professor named David Feldman discovered the hazards of BPA by accident in 1992. He and his team were studying estrogen activity when they discovered an estrogenic molecule in a plastic flask containing yeast. It turned out that the yeast was leaching estrogen from the plastic. The researchers immediately recognized that the estrogen-like molecule could be harmful to people eating out of plastic containers. They began informing the public about this danger, as well as asking plastic producers to look for alternative materials. In the following years, hundreds of studies were conducted to determine BPA’s toxicity and better understand its effects on human health.
Following the discovery that microwaved baby bottles leached BPA into milk, BPA was soon banned in Europe and Turkey. Japan, Canada, and Denmark followed suit. The use of BPA in children’s products is banned in 11 states in the U.S.
BPA’s Negative Effects
Food and liquids stored in plastic containers can easily absorb BPA, especially when the plastic is heated in the microwave. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of these estrogen-like chemicals than adults.
BPA has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems in women in more than 130 studies. It may also cause early puberty in girls who typically begin that stage of life around the age of 10. It can also contribute to infertility due to its negative effects on male genital development and may lead to infertility in women as well.
As well as negative effects on reproductive systems, BPA may also adversely affect other systems. Plaque buildup may lead to a condition called atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries. Heart disease is increased by this condition. The development of the central nervous system can also be impaired by BPA. According to other research, exposure to high levels of BPA may cause high blood pressure, prostate problems, and even behavioral changes.
Purchasing BPA-Free Lunch Boxes
The possibility of avoiding BPA is not impossible. Buy products labeled “BPA-free” and reduce your consumption of canned foods, which may contain BPA resin. Make sure to remove food from plastic containers before reheating it, as heated plastic can leach chemicals. Plastics should not also be washed in the dishwasher, though BPA-free lunch boxes are generally safe.
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The best way to protect your family from BPA is to purchase alternative materials, such as glass, porcelain, and stainless steel. Some bento lunch boxes can be used to ensure that your children are not exposed to the toxic effects of BPA. We also have compiled a guide that will help you choose electric lunch box, if you are looking for the best one.