Should You Go BPA-Free?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an extraordinarily well-studied, building-block chemical used primarily to manufacture durable epoxy resins and strong, clear polycarbonate plastic. As of February 2016, FDA stated that “BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods.”
…But is it??
What is BPA?
BPA (bisphenol-A) is a chemical that is added to many commercial products, including food containers and hygiene products. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor. It imitates hormones in the body and interferes with proper functioning of the endocrine system.
It was first discovered in the 1890s, but chemists in the 1950s realized that it could be mixed with other compounds to produce strong and resilient polycarbonate plastics.
These days, BPA-containing plastics are commonly used in things like food containers and baby bottles.
Bottom Line: The concern is that this chemical leeches into our foods and disrupts our hormone balance, creating among other things; obesity, infertility, immune system problems and cancer.
The FDA says that it is “safe”, but a study done at the University of Rochester in New York, leaves the body 8 times slower than reported and levels never reached zero! That means there is a residual amount that stays around to cause trouble!
Some of the resulting health problems associated with BPA include:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Increase in fat accumulation and obesity
- Reproductive dysfunction
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Damage to tooth enamel
- Immune dysfunction
- Early onset of puberty
- Cellular damage to the brain
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- Heart disease
- Causes developmental problems in newborns and fetuses
In the US, the Center for Disease Control issues the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). The 2003-2004 NHANES III found detectable levels of BPA in 2,517 urine samples. These samples were taken from individuals age 6 and older, and are considered representative of exposure levels throughout the US.
Which Products Contain the Most BPA?
Common products that may contain BPA include:
- Water bottles
- Canned foods
- Items packaged in plastic containers
- Paper and Plastic Dishware
- Soda and Sparkling Water Cans
- Coffee pots
- Feminine hygiene products
- Thermal printer store receipts
- Household electronics, CDs and DVDs
- Eyeglass lenses
- Sports equipment
- Dental filling sealants
*Special note about Plastic Water bottles:
This is probably one of the most well known sources of BPA. The industry has responded to consumer outcry about the health dangers of BPA in water bottles by creating BPA free plastic water bottles. Often, these BPA free bottles use BPS or BPF plastic instead. But these substitutes are now being found to cause similar health problems. You would be better off choosing a BPA free stainless steel or glass water bottle instead of any plastic option.
By making a few simple changes in product choice, you can minimize exposure and help protect your health. If you are already experiencing hormonal imbalances, then it is even more vital that you remove as much BPA exposure from your life as possible. Without doing that, it will be difficult to restore hormonal balance to your body.
Start by making baby steps! Live your life well!