Understanding Bisphenol A
If you walk down any aisle at the store that features baby products, you will definitely see the slogan “BPA Free” on most of the plastic items. But just what does this mean, and what do you, as the consumer, need to know?
What is Bisphenol A?
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical that has been used for more than 40 years in the manufacturing of hard plastic food containers and the lining of metal food and beverage cans.
Is BPA dangerous?
Some experts warn that BPA is known to mimic estrogen, and otherwise interfere with the hormonal system, and some studies have linked it to elevated risks of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
The FDA states: “Studies employing standardized toxicity tests have thus far supported the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA. However, on the basis of results from recent studies using novel approaches to test for subtle effects, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.”
Therefore, infant products, such as bottles and pacifiers, have been some of the first to have BPA removed from the manufacturing process.
Where is BPA found?
Almost 100 percent of canned food and beverage products on the market are lined with a resin made from BPA. This resin prevents the metal of the can from influencing the flavor of the food. BPA is also found in some plastic containers like water and baby bottles.
What can you do to reduce your exposure to BPA?
- Reduce your use of canned products. Use more fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
- Try Eden Organics canned foods, which is a brand that does not use BPA-containing lining in its cans.
- Limit the use of BPA-containing plastics.
- Do not heat plastic containers in the microwave, as heating carries a much higher risk of BPA leaching into the foods.