Thursday, December 14, 2017

Plastic Bottles: Are They Harmful to Your Health?

February 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Body Care, Featured

You try your best to choose healthy foods and drinks – but what if the bottles and can they come in are toxic? Scientists are raising this question because of a chemical called bisphenolA (BPA), found in polycarbonate (hard, clear plastic) containers and the linings of soda and food cans. Some researchers believe that harmful levels of BPA may be tainting your food and drinks – and that may cause serious health problems.

Since the 1950s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared BPA safe for food containers. But the agency failed to review health evidence from animal studies that show serious health effects. A panel of government scientists recently called for BPA to be reevaluated, and the FDA has agreed. Until we know all the facts about this chemical, it’s wise for consumers to take steps to protect themselves. Here are some answers to common questions about BPA.

Is BPA in every plastic containers?

No. BPA is only in polycarbonate plastic, which is found in hard, clear baby bottles; toddler sippy cups;reusable water bottles; and large, multigallon plastic jugs used for water dispensers. Canned food and soft-drink containers are also often lined with a think film of material containing BPA. Meanwhile, studies show that BPA has been found in the urine of more than 90 percent of adults and children tested.

What harm can BPA cause?

Laboratory studies of animals suggest BPA may cause developmental probalems in the brain and hormonal systems of infants and children. In human studies, new research shows that adults with a high level of BPA are about three times more likely than those with a low level to have heart disease, diabetes or liver problems.

How can I protect my family from BPA?

If you have a baby or toddler, is  BPA-free baby bottles and sippy cups. Or choose glass bottles or stainless steel cup. Some manufacturers are marketing BPA-free versions of refillable plastic bottles. To help identify polycarbonate bottles, turn the container upside down and look for numbers inside the “chasing arrows” symbol. Avoid bottles labeled 7, which is the category that included polycarbonate plastic.

How do I avoid BPA in canned goods?

This is more challenging. You can buy more fresh foods, frozen goods or items packaged in glass containers. When available, choose soups and other foods in cardboard cartons.

Reference: This is article was published in Spring 2009 edition of  ‘Your Health” magazine, pp 10-11. This article is re-published on this website for the benefit our readers.

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Reduce Stress Increase Productivity and Health – Vacation Way

January 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured

Vacations Can Soothe The Soul, and Help with Productivity, Health and More! Many people don’t take vacations often enough. In fact, according to a recent poll, around half of readers don’t take annual vacations; in fact, many readers never take them! And now with increasing frequency, when we do take vacations, we often bring work along with us, keeping ourselves essentially still in the work mindset we’re trying to escape.

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This is unfortunate for several reasons:

  • Vacations Stave Off Burnout: Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
  • Vacations Can Keep Us Healthy: Taking regular time off to ‘recharge your batteries’, thereby keeping stress levels lower, can keep you healthier.
  • Vacations Can Strengthen Bonds: Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong, helping you enjoy the good times more and helping you through the stress of the hard times. In fact, a study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
  • Vacations Can Help With Your Job Performance: As the authors of the above study suggest, the psychological benefits that come with more frequent vacations lead to increased quality of life, and that can lead to increased quality of work on the job.
  • Vacations Promote Creativity: A good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves, operating as a vehicle for self-discovery and helping us get back to feeling our best.

The bottom line is that taking a good amount of time away from the stresses of daily life can give us the break we need so that we can return to our lives refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes.

While not everyone is able to take a vacation, for those who can take several days or a few weeks off for a trip, I’ve compiled the following resources from some of About.com’s travel sites. These can help you plan the best type of trip for yourself so you can come back feeling ready for anything. (For those of you who can’t take off enough time for a traditional vacation trip, keep reading; I’ll have resources for you, too.)

For those who don’t have the time or money to take a ‘formal’ vacation, I have an article on quick, that will give you some creative ideas on how to get a nice break and enjoy the benefits of a vacation, for less.

Source:
Chikani V, Reding D, Gunderson P, McCarty CA. Vacations Improve Mental Health Among Rural Women: The Wisconsin Rural Women’s Health Study. WMJ, August, 2005.

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