BPA refers to Bisphenol A. This synthetic chemical is used in various industries like manufacturing of plastic bottles, sanitary napkins, toiletries, sports equipment, bottle caps and food cans. Many researchers claim that BPA is harmful for our health. BPA has been shown to mimic the activity of oestrogen hormone. This might alter the level of hormones in our body leading to an increased risk of developing disorders like thyroid, PCOS, breast cancer, etc. BPA binds with oestrogen receptors which can cause fertility issues in both males and females.
Dominant factor through which BPA enters our body is diet as it tends to leach into our food products. National Health and Human Examination Survey (NHANES III), conducted by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2003-2004 found that out of 2517 urine samples, 93% of samples had BPA.
Presence of BPA in our body has also been linked to many other health issues like obesity, asthma, altered immune, brain and liver function. There were several findings under the studies handled by the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research.
- It was found under some animal studies that BPA was passed from mother to the newborn baby.
- The metabolism and excretion of BPA were observed more in adults as compared to children.
- Internal exposure to BPA tends to affect our metabolism.
- Another study was designed to examine the effects of BPA on mammary and prostate glands, heart and metabolic changes concerning different doses. Although this study showed no major effects of BPA in multiple dosages.
In July 2012, the FDA imposed regulations to stop the use of BPA in baby plastic bottles and sippy cups. The use of BPA based epoxy resins which are used as coatings for the packaging of infant formula was also banned in July 2013.
To limit exposure to BPA, we can imply the following ways.
- Avoid or limit the consumption of packaged and canned foods.
- Prefer using glass bottles instead of plastic ones.
- Refrain from using such products which contains BPA.
- Do not heat or microwave foods in plastic containers.
- For infants and kids, use BPA-free material toys.
- Always check the plastic grade before buying plastic containers.
- Containers having the grade of 3 or 7 indicating recyclable might not be BPA free, sometimes.