What is BPA?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical which is used to harden plastic. This controversial chemical has been linked to breast cancer and prostate cancer. Bisphenol A is found in many polycarbonate plastic food containers, bottles, mugs and in the lining of metal cans. BPA (labeled #7) can leach into the food and drink we ingest and heat can further accelerate this process. This toxic chemical mimics estrogen – a hormone that controls brain development, the reproductive system and fetus maturation.
Numerous studies have shown that Bisphenol A can leach into food and water. Studies have shown that BPA can be found in almost every American’s urine. Some argue that Bisphenol A is only dangerous at high levels, while others stress that there is no safe level of BPA. In fact, scientists have recently found that BPA has spread throughout the world’s oceans.
“There is clear, credible evidence in the growing number of scientific studies that link Bisphenol A to the very health effects we see on the rise today,” Christopher Gavigan, executive director of Healthy Child, Healthy World.
Where Can I Find Bisphenol A?
- baby bottles and sippy cups
- plastic water bottles
- medical and dental devices
- dental fillings
- dental sealants
- the lining of most food and beverage cans
- coffee makers and electric water kettles
- children’s toys, teethers and pacifiers
What are the Adverse Health Effects of BPA?
- Increased risk for heart disease
- Increased prostate cancer susceptibility and increased prostate size
- Neuroblastoma – A cancer that often begins in early childhood
- Increased risk of asthma in kids
- Aggression and hyperactivity in toddlers
- Sexual dysfunction and early puberty
- Neonatal mortality, birth defects and endocrine disruption
- Obesity and obesity related health issues
- Neurological problems such as memory, learning, mood and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Increased Breast Cancer Risk – Bisphenol A alters breast development and increases breast cancer risk
How Do I Avoid the Dangers of BPA?
- Choose BPA-free kettles and BPA-free coffee makers
- Don’t buy from companies that use harmful chemicals in their packaging
- Choose BPA free alternatives such as glass, porcelain, or stainless steel
- Invest in safe, reusable, water bottles and mugs
- Never heat plastic wrap, baby bottles or any other plastic container
- Choose BPA free baby bottles, pacifiers and toys
- Shop for BPA free canned foods and BPA free beer
- Avoid canned tomatoes as they are highly acidic and accelerate the leaching of Bisphenol A
- Search for a dentist who uses BPA free dental sealants and fillings
The breakdown of Bisphenol A is accelerated by contact with with alcohol, fatty foods like fish, and acidic substances such as tomatoes and apple juice.
BPA Plastic Numbers to Avoid
Always look at the bottom of your bottle or container. If it has a number 7 recycling code (bpa plastic 7) then it may contain BPA. Choose safer plastics with the numbers 2, 4 and 5. Try to avoid bad plastics when possible.
Bisphenol A is suspected of being dangerous to humans in numerous ways which include cancer, heart disease and obesity. The BPA Plastic chemical has been linked to hormone disruption, birth abnormalities and developmental problems in children. Some have sought legal advice and class action lawsuits are surfacing against companies who market products that contain BPA. Such lawsuits argue that certain companies have failed to adequately disclose the risks associated with this chemical.