BPA, or Bisphenol A, is chemical that has been in use for more than 40 years to harden plastic. It is present in majority of the consumer products such as medical devices, water bottles, food cans, dental sealants, and baby products. BPA can also be inhaled through air, water, or dust, and by eating canned foods. Controversy may have changed its heavy use in baby products such as sippy cups, formula cans, and baby bottles while the US Department of Health claims that baby toys don’t contain BPA.
The Risks of BPA
Exposure to any kind of chemical is harmful and there are no definite human studies to prove that BPA has caused harms in humans. However, several animal studies have revealed that it can cause effects on the brains, in infants and young children, on behavior and prostate glands in fetuses.
BPA was considered a safe chemical by the US Food and Drug Association but in 2010 things changed. Exposure at low levels to the chemical might not be as harmful to exposure at high levels. Some of its health concerns are:
- BPA can disturb normal hormonal levels in the body by acting like a hormone. It can also disrupt normal fetus and baby development. However, results in animals have shown mixed results.
- BPA can have possible effects in behavior and on brain activity in children, revealed after a review of the evidence at the FDA.
- BPA exposure can lead to cancer development in later stages, reveal some animal studies.
- High levels of BPA in the body can put a person at risk of heart diseases. These results have been found in two studies, but the evidence yet has not uncovered a strong link.
- BPA exposure can lead to diabetes, obesity, and ADHD and asthma.
- Infants and young children are more at risk to the adverse effects of BPA because of being in development stages.
What You Can Do
Although many companies have stopped using BPA in their products and the US Food and Drug Administration deems it, safe at the current levels at which it occurs in foods, increased use of BPA has alarmed consumers’ safety concerns. The main source of exposure for BPA is through the consumption of canned foods and using harsh cleaners that contain acidic or high temperature liquids.
If you want to minimize your exposure to BPA you can reduce your consumption of canned foods and drinks. Purchase food products in glass bottles and use glass to store left overs.
Try to consume fresh foods as much as possible. One report carried out by the Silent Spring Institute and Breast Cancer Fund in US found out that a three-day fresh food diet lowered BPA levels in children and adults considerably.
For more research check out Dr. Axe’s post here.