Are You at Risk for BPA Exposure?

05/17/2016

What is BPA? (Bisphenol A)

Bisphenol A (BPA), is a chemical used in the production of some plastic products, including epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics. Epoxy resins are used as coatings inside metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, and water pipes. Polycarbonate plastic is used to make many products, including baby bottles, cars, and DVDs.

What does BPA exposure do to my health?

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that high levels of BPA were associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver problems. More than 130 studies have linked BPA to increased risk of breast cancer, obesity, and neurological problems. Some countries have declared BPA a “toxic substance.”

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains that BPA is safe, based on its own two studies. Watchdog groups have pointed out that the FDA’s studies were funded by chemical companies and may therefore be biased. Both studies fail to analyze the cumulative effect of exposure to BPA over a long period of time. For now, it’s advisable to monitor the news for any further FDA findings on BPA.

Am I at risk for exposure to BPA?

In a recent survey, nearly 93% of United States residents (age 6 and older) had BPA in their urine, suggesting widespread exposure. The highest potential for exposure to BPA is through products that directly contact food, such as food and beverage containers with internal epoxy resin coatings, and polycarbonate tableware and bottles.

How can I reduce exposure to BPA?

Avoid plastics that have a “7” in the center of the recycling symbol. This means they’re made from polycarbonate. For babies, use glass or stainless steel bottles instead of plastic.

For more information about the risks of BPA, contact your health care provider or visit the National Institutes of Health website.