Scrolling Headlines:

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

BPA: A low-down of the most important information

Potential Effects of BPA Use/Courtesy of the Environmental Working Group

Long before studies on it were made public in 2008, Bisphenol-A has been a widely covered topic in the field of health science. Better known as BPA, the chemical is found in a variety of items that we come into contact with in our day-to-day lives: tupperware, water bottles, the lining in soda cans, the plastic on children’s sealant to prevent cavities, even in baby products, like formula containers. The most commonly known place it’s found is in items that contain polycarbonate, which is a primary component of hard plastics.

Since its invention in 1891, scientists have been doing studies on its effects on the human body. In 1930, there were inklings regarding its toxicity as an estrogen-mimicker, but serious evidence has been surfacing over the past twenty years. This evidence has not only proven BPA’s far-reaching effects, but has also successfully shown that 93% of our population has it running in their system, and that it is also tainting our water supply.

 

What does it mean if BPA is in our bodies?  Let’s put it this way, its effects go way beyond just being a simple estrogen-mimicker. Recent studies are linking BPA to heart disease, behavioral issues, and early puberty in females. In addition, scientists question how BPA affects the brain, sexual organs, fetus/infant/child development, and even obesity levels. Increased risk of breast cancer is also a concern with BPA exposure. And to think, all this is just the tip of the iceberg. New studies are still coming out even to this date.

 

Now the question is, how can consumers limit their exposure to this chemical? The old answer used to be to buy BPA-free plastics, but now scientists are even discovering estrogen-mimicking chemicals in these products as well. For now, my suggestion would be this: buy an aluminum reusable water bottle for beverages. This step is not only healthful, but it is also green and cost-efficient. Less bottled water being bought, consumed, and put in the landfill. The only thing is that you need to clean the aluminum bottle to eliminate germs from prolonged use. Also, try investing in glass tupperware to store your leftover food. If you have to use plastics, do not heat them up in the microwave or have them interact with hot items as that helps BPA and other harmful chemicals break down faster.

 

Unfortunately, we cannot completely eliminate our exposure to BPA one hundred percent at this point. Legislature is being considered in a number of states to ban the chemical, but the process is still slow going. We can only hope that our nation can take the proper procedures to help us make our lifestyles safe and health, if not for us now, then for the future.

 

Eliza Mitchell can be reached at elizam@student.umass.edu

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