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Making Change!

Making change in healthier materials is not always easy, but it's necessary. Watch Alison Mears discuss why we need to care about chemical regulations

molecular structure of a chemical

Look at the above image. It’s the structure of a chemical commonly found in plastics. That structure is called bisphenol-A or BPA.

Does that acronym sound familiar? If not, grab a plastic water bottle. Then flip it over to read the bottom. You should see something like “BPA Free’’.

You may have come across this phrase in other plastic containers too. BPA was a widely used chemical to help make plastics strong. It also was found in liners to help preserve food. Through years of research, scientists began to link certain health effects to BPA exposure. This is what paved the way for that phrase you see on some plastic containers today! As of 2012, the Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of BPA in baby bottles.

We used that chemical for a specific purpose. But the health risks outweigh the benefits of its use. Of course, you can consider safer alternatives. But what if those alternatives are not as safe either then we call this a regrettable substitution?

Making changes isn’t always a clear-cut process. There may be many factors you have to consider before making the change. But if the end goal of that change leads to a positive outcome, then all of the challenges are completely worth it.

Over to You

Consider this as you think about the steps needed to use healthier building materials. What factors can affect making a change from more typical building materials that may contain toxics? Even with all of the hurdles a builder may face, why is using healthier materials worth it?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Healthier Building Materials and Human Health

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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