A Refresher on the Dangers of Bisphenol A (BPA)

The dangers of Bisphenol A or BPA have finally started to be recognized by main stream culture, even though there has been evidence of it’s dangers for many years. If you don’t know what BPA is or why you should be cautious about your consumption of it, please read the information that I’ve provided below. Even if you are aware of the dangers of BPA, it can’t hurt to reinforce your knowledge with the facts below.

What is Bisphenol A (BPA)?
BPA is a chemical produced in large quantities for use in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It is an endocrine disruptor and an estrogen-mimicking chemical. Some studies have linked BPA to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and developmental problems in children.
Where is Bisphenol A (BPA) Found?
There are many places BPA may be lurking such as:
• Food and drink packaging (including pop and beer cans)
• Water and infant bottles
• Canned food linings and bottle tops
• Sippy cups and children’s toys
How Do I Limit My BPA Exposure?
1) Look at the bottom of a plastic container. Polycarbonate plastics contain BPA. The letters PC and the recycling symbol #7 should be avoided.
a) Not all #7 products are full of BPA, but this is a general rule to follow. When my kids bring me an item in the grocery store and the bottom of the plastic container has the recycling #7, I err on the side of caution and avoid that product.
b) As a general rule, recycling symbols with the #1, #2, and #4 are safer choices and usually do not contain BPA
c) For complete peace of mind, try to find products in glass or that are labeled “BPA Free.”
d) Some metal water bottles still contain BPA in the lining of the bottle. Look for stainless steel as a rule of thumb.
2) Limit canned food consumption. BPA leaches from canned food linings. (Trader Joe’s has a great section of canned goods that are labeled BPA free).
a) Beverage linings have been shown to leak less BPA
b) Canned soups and pastas appear to have the highest levels of leaching
c) Rinsing canned vegetables or fruits may lower the amount of BPA consumed
3) If you use infant formulas (which I only recommend if there is no alternative), make sure that you avoid canned formula.
a) Studies conducted on BPA found canned infant formulas to be one of the highest products with BPA.
b) Dry formulas usually contain the least BPA
c) If you need ready-made formula, look for one packaged in a “safer” plastic as listed above with the above recycling symbols.

Conclusion
As a general rule, try to do the best that you can to limit your BPA consumption. There is no way to eliminate it completely, but it is the long-term accumulated effects that are so troubling. When you go out to eat or travel, there is no way of assuring your products are BPA free. That is why it is important to do your best when you can and control it whenever you are able. In September 2010, Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance. Let’s hope that others will follow.