Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical that’s found in many of the products we use every day. It’s an endocrine disruptor, so it can interfere with the hormones in your body. It’s used to make many plastics and resins, and you’ll find it in food cans, water bottles, dental fillings, DVDs and CDs, cash register tape, and much more. Previous research has shown that BPA can- and does- leach into food products, but until now, there hasn’t been a direct link established between BPA and cancer. BPA has been linked to plenty of other health issues, though.
Now, new research from the University of Michigan shows a direct link between BPA exposure and liver cancer. Pregnant mice were fed a diet containing human-relevant amounts of BPA during their pregnancy and while they were nursing their pups. And the babies of these mice were much more likely to develop liver tumors than control mice- it seems that the developing pups weren’t able to rid their systems of the chemical as efficiently as adults.
What does this mean for you? Pay attention to food labels! Look for BPA-free products, limit the amount of food you eat from cans and plastic containers that contain BPA, and be especially careful when you’re pregnant and when you have children in the home. Diet and health fads may come and go, but as we learn more about BPA, the news only gets worse. Read about the study here:
First-hand smoke exposure is the smoke inhaled by the actual smoker, and second-hand smoke exposure is when others inhale the exhaled smoke. But according to new research, third-hand smoke exposure could be just as dangerous as first- and second-hand smoke.
Third-hand smoke exposure is exposure to surfaces that have been contaminated with second-hand smoke. When a smoker moves out of a house, surfaces and dust can remain contaminated. As time goes on, nicotine is re-emitted from the contamination, and nicotine exposure can approach the levels of first-hand smoking.
Mice exposed to third-hand smoke were hyperactive, experienced significant lung and liver damage, and their wound healing abilities were reduced. In addition to these findings, it was found that third-hand smoke exposure can lead to type II diabetes!
What does this mean for you? Well, it might be more important than you think to choose a hotel that prohibits smoking and pay more attention to the smoking habits of previous owners of your new homes and automobiles. While a lingering odor of smoke might dissipate over time, the lasting effects may not. If you’re still smoking, here’s another great reason to consider the effects you may be having on your kids, your friends’ kids, and those who will be here long after you are.
If you’re a parent, you’ve probably had several experiences where you FREAK OUT at others’ lack of caution with your (or their!) kids. From allowing your 5-year-old to ride a bike without a helmet, showing a PG-13 movie at an 8-year-old’s sleepover, tossing your infant in the air WAY too high for comfort, or letting your 2-year-old experiment with throwing random items into a toilet to see what will happen, moms everywhere have laundry lists of “NO-NO’s” that are usually not followed by dads other caregivers.
But let me introduce you to a dad who will DEFINITELY not win a father of the year award. Meet the male dyeing poison frog- after his baby tadpoles hatch, he carries the newborns to pools of water with older, cannibalistic tadpoles, drops them in, hops away, and hopes for the best.
Moms everywhere just went “WHAAAT?” But hear him out- just like your significant other caregivers you might know, they have what they think is a REALLY GOOD REASON for this. Apparently, they have a pretty good probability of surviving (although definitely not high enough to make moms happy), and since those older, cannibalistic tadpoles are growing and healthy, the pool must be a good spot.
Learning about the evolution of this strange reasoning could help researchers understand this behavior- both in frogs and in humans. And maybe now you’ll think that letting your little one experiment with toilet science isn’t quite as big of a deal…