Click here for a great synopsis of what BPA is and why it is not something you want to eat.  For most of us natural living enthusiasts, the issue of BPA in and tin can linings is old news.  This plastic chemical is carcinogenic. I just found out Mason jar lids also contain BPA.  I use them all the time to preserve my garden-grown red sauce, pickles, beets, etc.  Now, I am looking for a lid that fits on a Mason jar.  Let me know if you know where to get them! I recommend avoiding all known toxins as much as possible for your optimal health.

Another disturbing issue I recently learned about is that , a severe , is found in high amounts in many balsamic vinegars.  Click here for more on that and a list of brands tested.  I get my balsamic from Trader Joe’s.  They are not on the list.  I called their customer service department and asked if they test for lead.  I was told they do and require their manufacturers to test for it also.  They apparently won’t buy it if it contains more than the safe harbor exposure level outlined in California’s proposition 65.  This level is one with no significant risk, as defined by the state. They are based on the 1-in-100,000 lifetime risk for carcinogens and an exposure that is 1,000 times lower than the “no observed effect level” in animals studied for reproductive toxicants.  In California, all products made with over this level of lead must have a consumer warning.  I am glad about the growing awareness of this issue.

I am not testing my patients for BPA exposure, but am testing for heavy metals.  Depending on how high your levels are, I recommend various and protocols to help get the metals out.  Naturopathic doctors are trained to assess for toxic exposures of all kinds.  In addition to avoiding exposure, I recommend you visit your local ND this year and talk what you can do to your body of any toxins you may have been exposed to over the course of your lifetime.  Now is a great time to start planning a spring cleansing plan.

Margaret Philhower, ND