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Why Mennonite Urine Is Four Times Lower in BPAs Than the Rest of Ours

Drive less, eat better, live simple and live longer: what we can learn from the Mennonite way of life.

We all carry in our bodies the legacy of our dependence on plastic products: 93 percent of U.S. urine samples contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical compound used in the production of plastics and resins. Most of this exposure comes from food packaging. You may also recall the shift away from the use of BPA by Nalgene, the water bottle maker.

Sydney Brownstone over at Mother Jones points out the growing body of scientific research showing that BPAs screw around with our hormones and much more:

Exposure to the chemical has been associated with risk for obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, infertility, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, and neurological problems.


BPAs are ubiquitous in the modern industrial food system, and figuring our just how they find their way into our bodies can be complicated, points out Brownstone. Earlier this week researchers from the University of Rochester and Mount Sinai Medical Center published a study with a novel approach to this question. They tested the urine of pregnant Mennonite women in upstate New York for their exposure and found their levels to be four times lower than average.

So what do the Mennonites know that we don't? Well, they eat fresh, local, homegrown, pesticide free food, drive less, and their homes aren't filled with plastic products. Live simply and live longer. The global BPA market is worth about $8 billion and the FDA has balked at a ban. Perhaps it's time to reconsider.

For more on the risks of BPAs, how to avoid them, and how to move policy change forward, visit the NRDC.

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