Where is BPA lurking?
I have been storing my family's clothing in big plastic storage containers with tight lids. When I take the clothing out of the boxes, it smells strongly of plastic. Could these items be picking up and transmitting bisphenol-A (BPA) or any other dangerous chemicals?
-Keri Primbs, via email
A tiny — but clinically significant — quantity of BPA leaches into water and food when plastic containers that contain the chemical are heated. However, BPA does not appear to outgas, so it's probably not leaching into the air or dry clothing in a plastic box. You are right to be concerned, though: Studies done on vinyl shower curtains have found that vinyl outgases volatile organic compounds (VOCs). And those VOCs contain phthalates, which are just as big a concern as BPA. Washing the clothes before wearing them should eliminate any VOCs offgassed from the plastic, according to Delicious Living's medical editor, Robert Rountree, MD.
Problems with the pill
I was disappointed that your article “Is the Birth-Control Pill Safe?” (October 2008) contained the same statement that we get from our gynecologists about the “rare” risk of blood clots. I have never smoked, yet when I went on the pill at age 39, within nine months I had multiple large blood clots in my lungs. It was a long, expensive, and frightening recovery. Genetics are involved — a factor that never gets mentioned and which was absent in this article.
-Becky Schigiel, via email
Thank you for sharing your story. Although cigarette smoking greatly increases the blood-clot risk, clots can occur in the absence of any obvious risk factors. It is a serious problem that is often minimized.
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