BPA Tox-a-thon
0 comment Tuesday, May 13, 2014 |
These last few days on Wall Street have made it hard to laugh about much. AIG is getting bailed out, I see. When I think about all the counterparty risk floating around out there, with the derivatives contracts and all, I'm scared, man. But between you and me, I'm just as scared about Bisphenol A ("BPA").
The Washington Post ran an article about it yesterday. You may remember when all the baby bottles were whisked off the shelves at Walmart and Target several months ago? And then the news sort of died down? Well, it's back.
The WP article detailed a new study, NOT funded by the chemical companies for a change. The study says that high levels of this chemical can triple your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and wacked out bad liver enzymes. And, bear in mind, this study was done on ADULTS, not children. Nor has "high levels" been defined, so far as I can tell.
The first time I heard about BPA, I didn't think much about it -- until we went to a pediatric dentist for the first time last year. Yes, I'm a negligent mother; have never claimed otherwise. But I've heard so many kid-dentist rip-off stories. And to a man, they want to have a full-mouth radiation festival in your kid's mouth. If you say no to x-rays, they flash you the card for the local Child Protective Services office and ask, "are you sure about that?" It's daunting.
But when it came to dental sealants, I was intransigent. The dentist wanted to put dental sealants in my kid's mouth because his molars are "crevicey." And deep crevices, the dentist deridingly explained, can lead to cavities. Aha.
So I asked one simple question: does your dental sealant have BPA in it? Whoa. I might as well have asked if he were an internet child predator. WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM he said reprovingly, in a loud, offended voice. Really? I thought we were playing golf, asshole. I WOULD NEVER DO ANYTHING TO HARM YOUR CHILD (he wanted to add, "you stupid, stupid woman" -- you could just tell.) And so could the hygienist. She started coughing and stopped making eye contact with me.
I understand that, Mr. Dentist. But that's what Dupont said when it rolled out its teflon pans that flake all kinds of cancer sh-t into your food. I'm not impugning your motives, however financial they may be. I simply want to know what is in your dental sealants. Before we let my kid suck on this UMO twenty-four hours a day for the next eight years, what are the ingredients? Do you or do you not know whether whether your sealants contain BPA?
Well, we were shown the door in short order. This happens to us a lot. Mr. Fancy Pants did not know, and he did not want to say that he did not know, whatever the f-ck on earth it was that he insisted on putting in my kid's mouth. But I knew. It was BPA. You know, I could count on three fingers the doctors I've gotten along with in my life. Three. Picture them.
Alrighty then. So where else does BPA lurk? F-cking everywhere, it turns out. We are now being told to avoid canned goods, most especially canned goods housing acidic things, like tomato paste, tomato sauce, tomato soup. Because the acid from the tomatoes causes the BPA to leach out of the can's plastic lining and into the food. Similarly, salad dressing bottles are a problem -- the vinegar is acidic. Plastic storage containers are definitely out. In my fridge, I've got some beets bathing in leach juice right now.
And then there are the things we don't even think about . . . like our coffee makers that heat up the water in BPA reservoirs. The inside lining of microwave popcorn bags, the Lean Cuisine heat-me-up-for-a-chemical-explosion containers, plastic thermoses, the Zyliss salad spinner I love and use daily.
God, I think about all the breast milk I ruined, heating the bottles up in hot water. Sh-t! And all the acidic juices my son drank from those bottles. Couple all that BPA with the high fructose corn syrup I let destroy his liver -- before I knew and nightmared about HFC. He's probably no more healthy than an 80-year old vagrant. And those boil-in-a-bag foods I used to cook. That teflon-coated popcorn-popping Stir Crazy that entertained me for hours, hot popcorn kernels bursting against a BPA bowl. I am a mobile landfill.
There's no getting away from this putridness. It's like that family that lived for a year without any products from China. Eventually they just moved into a tent and played with wooden blocks the dad sawed from trees in their backyard. On Christmas day, the children had to be sequestered.
The Washington Post article states that we get BPA from the air, from contact with our skin. Put down that remote control NOW. Don't touch the handle on the dishwasher, or the refrigerator, or the plastic water jug. No more wine-in-a-box for me. God almighty, how could I have been so stupid? I never in a million years bought liquor in plastic, so why, why did I drink the wine?
Guess I'll start wearing a mask and gloves when I'm changing the garbage bag, or taking out the trash. Will start sending my son's lunch in mason jars, in a non-insulated metal lunch box so the glass can break and cut him and his friends to shreds at school. Better safe than sorry. But his shoes . . . are they rubber-soled or do they have plastic in them? What about his plastic toy bins?
His little-kid books seemed dipped in some sort of plastic water-proofy sh-t that he tried to peel off and eat. Is my blackberry screen glass or plastic? It's by my face all the time. Damn it! My eye glasses are plastic. Is there BPA in my soft contacts? My laptop keyboard . . . my hands touch it and I breathe right by it every day, for hours on end.
We're all screwed. We're all going to die.
When I called my mom to share in my agony, my grief, forget it. "Of course, I knew that. Why do you think I divorced your dad when he brought a microwave into the house? Did you not ever wonder why I never went to a single Tupperware party? [Frankly, I just thought it was because she was a wee bit snobby -- no Amway parties were attended, either]. Remember how ungrateful you were, how you would complain when I wrapped your sandwiches in wax paper, while all the other children got their sandwiches fresh from poisonous plastic bags? I was PROTECTING YOU. Your rattle was sterling silver. Plastic never grazed the face of a child of mine. Don't you recall my telling you to get rid of your Teflon pans twenty years ago? And to think I've always been here, knowing everything. All you had to do was ask."
Then she had to go. The coffee she was making in her stainless steel percolator was ready. Mother Superior to my mothering inferior.
** 10/29/08 UPDATE -- Click title to this post for link to ABC News BPA Information