Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of BPA and how terrible it is for your health by now. But do you know what it is and how it negatively impacts our health and wellness? Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that is used to make certain types of plastics and resins, including polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. These materials are used in a wide variety of products, including single-use plastics, water bottles, food containers, and even cash register receipts. The issue is that BPA can leach out of these materials and into food and beverages for our consumption, which raises concerns about its safety in our daily-use products.
One of the biggest concerns about BPA is that it can mimic the hormone estrogen in the body. This can lead to a whole host of health problems, primarily in children and pregnant women. Studies have linked BPA exposure to numerous health concerns such as cancer, diabetes as well as neurological disorders. BPA can potentially also cause developmental and reproductive problems in fetuses, infants, and young children. Reports have shown that BPA can affect the brain and behavior in children, as well as create hormonal and metabolic changes that can increase the risk of obesity and heart disease.
BPA is not only found in plastics, but also in other everyday items. For instance, paper receipts, including those from cash registers, ATMs, and credit card machines, often also contain BPA. This is because the paper is coated with a layer of BPA-based ink to create a high-contrast image, making receipts easier to read. When you handle a paper receipt, the BPA can transfer to your skin and then into your body. It can also be found in many of our favorite canned foods, where the chemical can leach from the can’s lining into the food.
To avoid BPA exposure, it’s important to limit your use of products that contain the chemical. When it comes to plastic bottles, look for bottles labeled as “BPA-free.” Many companies have begun to produce BPA-free bottles in response to consumer demand.
Some of the BPA-free water bottle brands are:
- Klean Kanteen
- Life Factory
Some single-use, disposable plastic water bottle brands include:
- Core water
- BOX water
- VOSS water
- Fiji water
Additionally, you can also use glass, stainless steel, and ceramic containers instead of plastic for storing food and beverages. We also recommend trying to reduce your handling of paper receipts and instead ask for electronic receipts or no receipt at all when possible.
With that said, it is worth noting that the BPA-free label does not necessarily mean a product is safe. Some studies have suggested that other chemicals used in BPA-free products can also have negative health effects. For example, some BPA-free products may contain bisphenol S (BPS) or bisphenol F (BPF), which can have similar estrogen-mimicking profiles as BPA. The takeaway here is to be aware that not all BPA-free products are free of all bisphenols.
In conclusion, BPA is a chemical found in many common products that can cause serious health problems. While it’s possible to reduce your exposure to BPA by using BPA-free products and avoiding products that are known to contain the chemical, it’s important to be aware that not all BPA-free products are completely safe. To be safe, it is best to limit your use of plastic and choose safer, more natural alternatives when possible and be sure to do your own research!