BPA and ways to avoid it
WHAT IS BPA?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical produced in large quantities for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins used in nearly every industry. BPA is a reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant (From: EPA). Environmental estrogens (xenoestrogens) are a diverse group of chemicals that mimic estrogenic actions. Bisphenol A (BPA), a monomer of plastics used in many consumer products, has estrogenic activity in vitro (From: NIH). Full estrogenic activity was demonstrated for BPA when it was tested for use as a pharmaceutical drug in 1936 (From: NIH/EHP).
BPA has been shown to cause hormonal dis-balance in the developing fetuses and young children. Effects of the BPA on human health are: carcinogenic, radiological, reproductive, diabetes, liver failure, neurological/behavioral. (From: NIH)
Canadian government in 2010 added BPA to the list of the toxic substances, and BPA is now prohibited from baby products (From: CA GOV’T)
WHERE IS BPA FOUND?
Polycarbonate plastics have many applications including use in some food and drink packaging, e.g., water and infant bottles, compact discs, impact-resistant safety equipment, and medical devices. Epoxy resins are used as lacquers to coat metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, canning jar lids, and water supply pipes. Some dental sealants and composites may also contribute to BPA exposure. (From NIH). Bisphenol A can also leach into food from consumer products such as polycarbonate tableware, thermal receipt paper, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles. While the leaching process is ongoing, the degree to which BPA leaches from polycarbonate bottles into liquid may depend more on the temperature of the liquid or bottle, than the age of the container. (From: NIH)
WHAT TO DO TO AVOID BPA?
There are several easy to remember rules that you can follow.
- Avoid foods that were in contact with plastic at any point. Look for the products that are sold in paper, glass or BPA-free metal containers.
- Get rid of the plastic containers unless confirmed to be BPA free. Use glass or stainless steel containers whenever possible.
- BPA is also absorbed via skin – beware of the common store receipts printed on the thermal paper. Unless I’m planning to return an item, I simply do not take the receipts at the store.
- When other options are not available, do not heat up plastics – this includes microwaving, hot-water washing, leaving in the sun, pouring hot soup, etc.
History of BPA politics: