The Basics on BPA

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BPA, one of the most dangerous and common endocrine disruptors that we face on an every day basis. But what exactly is it? Why is it dangerous? And how am I exposed to it?

BPA stands for bisphenol A. It is a chemical found in many plastics and resins that is used for creating hard clear plastics. It has been used since the 1960s and has been proven to have negative effects on people's health, but it is still used in every day items.

It was first introduced for making baby bottles, but is now used in everything from plastic water bottles to canned foods. It is also used in: toiletries, feminine hygiene products, thermal printer receipts,CDs and DVDs, household electronics, eyeglass lenses, sports equipment, and dental filling sealants. However these chemicals don't just stay in the walls of your container. Research has shown that they can actually leak into your food and water. How many times have you left a plastic water bottle in the sun or car and come back to find it boiling hot? Not only is your water heated, but the heat causes the plastic to breakdown faster and puts more chemicals in your water.

BPA imitates estrogen and is linked to cancers, reproductive problems, obesity, early puberty, and heart disease. It causes all these illnesses because it is a hormone mimicker that disrupts your endocrine system. By acting as hormones, your bodies natural signals, it can confuse your body into sending the wrong responses.

Try using BPA-free products or replacing plastics completely with glass or stainless steal products. Another way to check if your plastic has BPA is by reading recycling numbers. Products with the numbers 3 and 7 should be avoided. These numbers can often be found at the bottom of you bottles. However make sure to check your BPA-free bottle doesn't contain BPS or BPF- two chemicals that act simmilarly to BPA. 

In conclusion, BPA is a dangerous endocrine disruptor found in many everyday items. It is linked to a variety of illnesses but is still allowed in the US. However, other countries such as the EU have banned its use. Luckily, you can reduce your exposure by switching to glass and stainless steal products.

By: Sara Frawley