Bisphenol A (BPA) is a prevalent endocryne disrupting chemical found in plastics. It has been extensively studied and shown to have toxic effects on the brain, reproduction, and cancer risk. Its structural analogs used as replacements such as BPS and BPF are also potentially harmful.
Found in Products
Reusable food and beverage containers
Food can linings
Thermal paper receipts
Plastic water pipes
The following health effects have been linked to bisphenol A (BPA) exposure in scientific studies:
Impacts on brain development and behavior – BPA exposure has been associated with anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, attention and behavioral problems in studies.
Reproductive effects – BPA can reduce fertility, and has been associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and sexual dysfunction.
Cancer risk – BPA has been linked with increased risk of breast, prostate, ovarian and endometrial cancers.
Other effects – BPA has also been associated with obesity, heart disease, and immune system problems in some studies.
How To Avoid BPA
Here are some tips to avoid exposure to BPA:
- Avoid polycarbonate plastic containers and canned foods lined with BPA. Opt for glass, stainless steel, or polyethylene plastic containers labeled BPA-free.
- Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastics or place hot liquids in them. Heat causes more BPA to leach out.
- Reduce handling of thermal paper receipts and tickets. Wash hands after touching them.
- Choose personal care products labeled phthalate and paraben-free as they may contain BPA.
- Use powder or bar soap instead of liquid soap dispensed from plastic bottles.
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned and packaged foods.
- Use alternatives to plastic water pipes in homes, like copper piping.
- Support policies to ban BPA from food-contact materials like packaging, bottles, cans.
- Avoid replacing BPA with similar chemicals like BPS or BPF which have not been proven safer.
Reading labels, avoiding plastics with recycling codes 3 and 7, heating plastics, and policy changes can all help reduce BPA exposures. But vigilance is required given how widely used it is.