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Is BPA Bad For You?

Also Known As: Bisphenol A



Short answer

Yes, Bisphenol A (BPA) is bad for you. BPA is a vital part of world commerce, as it has served a multitude of manufacturing applications since 1957. BPA has undergone relentless scrutiny for the last twenty years concerning use for commercial food production.



Long answer

Many people are cautious about what they consume on a daily basis, but there are numerous chemicals ingested due to their applications in modern food production.  One such chemical is BPA.  Over the years, BPA has had various uses that include food packaging since the 1960’s.  It is a component utilized in the plastic water bottles, baby products, plastic food containers, metal container linings, and even the coating of receipt paper. 

Some people are exposed to it while manufacturing products that contain the chemical. However, most people are exposed to BPA through their diet.  Exposure of the bottles and containers to high temperatures cause these chemicals to seep from the lining of the metal cans and bottles into contents of the containers.  This chemical effect is common in canned goods, reheated foods, or water bottles washed in the dishwasher.  In adults, a portion of the BPA chemical is eliminated from the body through the process of detoxification performed by the liver.  However, in children and infants, the organs are not fully developed and thus they are not able to eliminate the BPA. In addition, pregnant women who are exposed to BPA also increase the chances of the fetus being exposed to the chemical.

Due to the potentially high levels of exposure that people have to BPA on a daily basis, the health effects may be adverse.  Large doses can cause side effects ranging from minor effects to life-threatening effects. The maximum amount of BPA recognized as safe for human consumption is 50 milligrams per kilo a day. However, it is important to point out that the body does not rapidly excrete this substance, so it is able to accumulate in the body over time. Many studies conducted suggest that children and infants are the most vulnerable to the effects of BPA.  Some of the health risks to both adults and children include the development of behavioral and neurological disorders, due to loss of connection between brain cells.  Heart problems and diabetes are also a risk, as the chemical can lead to liver damage and insulin resistance.  Exposure to high levels of BPA can affect cellular development, induce reproductive disorders, alter breast development, lead to breast cancer and may be linked to prostate cancer.

Nevertheless, the BPA chemical has some benefits such as providing heat-resistant storage containers that help keep food fresh.  The material of the containers also protects the food from contamination, and this enables feeding of large numbers of people in during disaster relief operations.  Since the health risks outweigh the benefits, the best plan is to avoid BOA as much as possible.  This means being purposeful in looking at labels to ascertain if the item is BPA-free.  It is also advantageous to avoid microwaving plastic food containers and opt for glass or stainless steel containers for hot food.  

Possible long-term side effects

  • neurological disorders
  • adhd
  • heart problems
  • diabetes
  • liver damage
  • insulin resistance
  • cell mutation
  • reproductive disorders
  • breast cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • fetal cell toxicity

Big is bpa bad for you

Healthier alternatives

  • bpa free containers/products

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Written by DeeAnne Oldham | 03-06-2016

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
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