Identifying Bisphenol A: The Dangerous Chemical in Some Plastics

Since 1991, thorough studies have been conducted on the damaging effects of Bisphenol A. Enough evidences have been found that some countries, including Japan, have banned its use.

According to Professor Vom Saal, low dose exposure to Bisphenol A has been linked to some behaviorial effects such as hyperactivity, ADHD, poor motor skills, and learning diabilities. 
Studies have shown that Bisphenol A links to the following effects:
  • Obesity
  • Early onset of puberty
  • Reduced sperm count
  • Smaller sperm-carrying ducts
  • Larger than normal prostate
  • Altered immune function
  • Changes in the breast representing early stages of breast cancer

How are we exposed to Bisphenol A?
Hard, shiny plastic products usually contain Bisphenol A.  These include clear plastic baby feeding bottles, dental sealants, plastic sippy cups, interior coating of some food cans, five-gallon water jugs, and some sports bottles.  The greatest exposure happens when food or beverage comes in contact with Bisphenol A.  When food or liquid is heated in polycarbonate receptacles, it is soaked up in the chemical.  Heating up food in a container, especially when it is scratched, drives Bisphenol A into the food.  Bisphenol A can also move through the placenta; thus pregnant mothers can pass it to the unborn baby.

It is almost impossible to completely avoid using products with Bisphenol A because many manufacturers do not list the chemical on the labels, and many products are unregulated when it comes to these matters.  We can, however lessen the chance of Bisphenol A contamination by not heating our food in polycarbonate containers, and by replacing as many plastics as we can with more natural products such as glass, ceramic, metal, or cloth.

image source