Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is an organic compound which is usually seen in polycarbonate plastic compounds and epoxies. It is a very strong compound which is highly durable. Therefore it is used in the making of items like plastic bottles, baby feeders, etc. The extensive use of BPA started in the 1930’s. It was introduced as a substitute for estrogen. The organic compound of BPA is subjected to certain chemical reactions before using it. This is to increase the durability of the product.
Studies done on BPA have revealed that it contains toxins which can harmfully affect the human body, especially the endocrine system. Biologists refer to it as the ‘endocrine disruptor.’ The primary effect of the toxin is seen in many infants since feeding bottles contain BPA. Studies have also found out that the compound adversely affects the normal brain development of a child.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it would investigate bisphenol-A, or BPA, and has listed this substance as a chemical of concern because it has been revealed as being harmful. BPA is connected to cancer and other significant health conditions in animals and humans. Some problems include permanent hormonal changes, heart disease, poor development of the female reproductive system including mammary tissues, reduced immune system response, alterations in fat tissues and thyroid tissue, and diabetes. The likelihood of mammary and prostate cancers are also elevated.
The concerns with BPA’s effects have become a significant issue with humans since much of the foods we eat are now packaged and stored in BPA plastic containers. Some epoxy resins and items we use every day are made with BPA plastic which permits BPA to seep into our bodies. It has also been discovered that premature babies subjected to instruments containing BPA in hospital intensive care units, presented with urine samples whose BPA content was 10 times average. We should try to reduce utilization of products we know contain BPA. Although it is certainly not easy, alternatives are available.
When choosing water bottles, there are collapsible bottles that are BPA free and very light weight and flexible. When empty, they can be flattened and rolled up to save space. The thin, floppy material makes them very light in weight as compared to their traditional hard plastic alternatives. BPA has also been found in majority of the linings of the inside of canned foods. We should try to consume more homemade foods and/or foods stored in glass containers or other containers made of safe materials. It is especially important to do so when feeding babies and young children as well and minimize the harmful effects of this compound.
It is in our best interest to buy from vendors that offer BPA-free products. Some examples of alternatives to BPA include materials of stainless steel, BPA free plastics, and glass. More and more people have become aware of the dangers of using BPA products. Since this is true, there has been a boom in the BPA-free product market. We can only hope this continues and more people will become aware of the associated risks and work towards the eradication of BPA products from the marketplace.