Gender-Bending Chemicals Found in Plastic Linked to Breast and Prostate Cancer Found in 86 Percent of Teenagers’ Bodies

A gender-bending chemical used in plastic containers since the 1960s and linked directly to breast and prostate cancers can be found in almost 90 percent of teenagers’ bodies, the Daily Mail reports. Bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to harden plastics, mimics the female sex hormone estrogen, and is also linked to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and declining male fertility.

The dangers of BPA and its chemical cousin, bisphenol-S, have been known for a long time. Both BPA and BPS are endocrine disrupting chemicals, responsible for hypertension, structural changes to your brain, preterm birth and diabetes. The latest research now shows that both are able to cross the placental barrier— leading to potential dangers for unborn children.

Yet, while exposure during prenatal and infancy periods may hold the greatest risk, adolescents and adults are also at risk from endocrine disruptors and the subsequent health conditions that may develop. In fact, one recent study found the subsequent health care cost from only the chemicals with the highest probability of causation resulted in a cost of at least $175 billion each year.

The smart thing to do, then is obvious: Try to avoid BPA and BPS. But, beware: Products labeled "BPA-free" have also been found to leach chemicals with estrogenic activity after undergoing real world testing. In essence, what this means is that to protect yourself, you need to avoid anything made with, or wrapped or packaged in, plastic. Since processed and packaged foods are a common source of BPA and phthalates — particularly cans, but also foods packaged in plastic wrap, real food is always your best option.

Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastic or cans. Store your food and beverages in glass and use glassware for eating whenever possible. Never drink coffee or tea from plastic cups and replace all your plastic cups with glass. Avoid plastic utensils and don't use drinking water packaged in plastic. Filter your own water and store it in glass containers. Don't use plastic grocery bags from the store. Bring your own reusable canvas or cloth variety. Also avoid handling cash register receipts, many of which contain BPA.
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