Chemical Freeloaders

By Elizabeth Marglin

Although bisphenol-A (BPA), the chemical used to make plastic clear and durable, has come under widespread scrutiny for being a gender-bending toxin, most scientists still believe the body can easily eliminate it. Unfortunately, they’re mistaken, according to a new study from the University of Rochester. Head researcher Richard Stahlhut found that BPA actually leaves the body eight times more slowly than previously thought and a certain amount sticks around indefinitely. And the longer BPA lingers, experts say, the more harm it inflicts. Minimize your risk: Don’t drink or eat from polycarbonate (#7) plastics; switch to glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic; and opt for fresh, frozen, or dried foods instead of buying canned goods (most cans are lined with BPA) whenever possible.