For the past few years, you’ve probably noticed the words “BPA-Free” stamped onto your refillable water bottles, sandwich containers, perhaps even your kids’ backpacks. But what’s so bad about BPA and why should you be concerned that you’re free of it?
BPA, more formally known as Bisphenol A, is a chemical found in the plastics often used for water bottles and food containers. On its own, BPA isn’t so harmful, but when plastics containing BPA are repeatedly exposed to heat, the plastic has the potential to break down and the BPA can spread to the food and liquids held inside.
If BPA seeps into your beverages and food, you could face serious health issues. BPA has been known to have adverse effects on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses, infants and children.
To keep BPA out of your next meal or your child’s lunch, opt for containers made from glass, porcelain or stainless steel. Also, keep plastic containers out of the heat (microwaving and dishwashing are no-nos).
Fortunately, there are lots of products now available that are BPA-free. Here are a few of our favorite BPA-free products – perfect for taking back to school and to the office.
- Backpack: North Face backpacks all meet “global restricted substance requirements” and come in a bunch of cool colors, patterns and styles that will certainly outlast the rigors of elementary school.
- Water Bottle: Once you buy one of Contigo’s water bottles for your kids, you’ll very quickly decide that you have to have one too. The “Maddie” stainless steel model won’t spill in their backpacks and will keep drinks cold the whole day.
- Lunch Bags: Available in a number of designs and styles (bigger bags for bigger kids, or smaller totes for your little ones), Wildkin lunch bags are PVC, BPA and Phthalate-free.
- Lunch Containers: Keep your kid’s sammies and snacks sustainable and chemical-free by packing them in Tupperware – yes, the same Tupperware you toted to school each day. But since 2010, all Tupperware products sold in the U.S. and Canada are BPA-free.