BPA debate continues: Woman claims chemical poisoning


Tonya Montgomery felt like she was ready to die. Helpless and alone, she lay on the floor for two days until her child's nanny found her.

Over the next two months, Montgomery was diagnosed with lupus, lymphoma, leukemia and scleroderma, but she had none of them. After searching online, she found the answer, and a doctor whom she says confirmed it.

Montgomery says she was suffering from plastic poisoning.

Professor Tracey Woodruff, an expert on environmental toxins, says dangerous toxins can easily get into your body, from the shampoo you use to the food you eat.

"People are exposed to BPA constantly," said Woodruff, director of the University of California-San Francisco's program on reproductive health and the environment.

BPA is a chemical used in plastics. It prevents rusting and is found in the lining of canned foods, plastic bottles, plastic bags, Styrofoam and coffee cups. It's in the fish we eat, the soup we sip, and even our baby's bottles.

"They can alter the hormones in your body," said Woodruff.

Out of more than 200 government studies, 92 percent show some association that BPA might be harmful. Roughly 20 studies funded by chemical corporations found BPA does no harm.

How much BPA does it take to affect your health? A Harvard study gave one group of volunteers canned soup for lunch and another group fresh soup. After just five days, the group eating canned soup had more than a 1,000-percent increase in BPA.

One thing you can do, experts say, is to avoid anything made with plastic #3, #6 or #7.

Montgomery got rid of anything and everything plastic! She cleaned out her home and watches everything she eats. No plastic bags, bottles, or cups.

"We don't use the microwave. We don't do anything with preservatives. It took me about 90 days to get completely better," said Montgomery.

Last year French lawmakers banned BPA in all food packaging. Canada banned BPA in all baby products. And after a lot of pressure, the Food and Drug Administration has recently banned the use of BPAs in baby bottles and sippy-cups; but it stopped short of banning the chemical in metal can liners and other plastics.

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