What is BPA?
- BPA or Biphenol A is a chemical compound used in the manufacture of food contact materials such as re-usable plastic tableware and can coatings.
- It is also used in cash register and ATM receipts.
- BPA has been used in food packaging since the 1960’s.
Why is there a concern for BPA?
- When food is packaged there is concern that particles will migrate into the food source.
- Traces have also been found in breast milk as well as the blood of pregnant women and umbilical cord blood.
- “The 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of 2517 urine samples from people six years and older. The CDC NHANES data are considered representative of exposures in the United States.How does BPA get into our bodies?” NIH
- “The primary source of exposure to BPA for most people is through the diet. While air, dust, and water are other possible sources of exposure, BPA in food and beverages accounts for the majority of daily human exposure.” NIH
How safe is BPA?
- The National Toxicology Program at the FDA expressed concern about BPA’s possible effects on the brain and behavior of infants and young children.
- In September 2008, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) completed a review of available research on the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and concluded that there was “some concern for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures.”
- In 2102 the FDA banned BPA In babies bottles and drinking cups as shown above.
- Some animal studies suggest that infants and children may be the most vulnerable to the effects of BPA. Reference NIH
- “FDA has amended its regulations to no longer provide for the use of BPA-based polycarbonate resins in baby bottles and sippy cups. In July, 2012, FDA took this action in response to a food additive petition filed by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) . The ACC petition demonstrated, from publicly available information and information collected from industry sources, that the use of polycarbonate resins in baby bottles and sippy cups had been abandoned.”
- “FDA has amended its regulations to no longer provide for the use of BPA-based epoxy resins as coatings in packaging for infant formula. In July, 2013, FDA took this action in response to a food additive petition filed by Congressman Edward Markey  of Massachusetts. This petition demonstrated, from publicly available information and information collected from industry sources, that the use of BPA-based epoxy resins as coatings in packaging for infant formula had been abandoned.”
- The American Chemistry Council stated that this is one of the most thoroughly tested chemicals used today and has a safety track record of 50 years.
Immune System and BPA
- The European Food Safety Authority allows the use of BPA in their products. Current studies are underway to examine BPA’s effects on the immune system.“October 2016 – New data confirm EFSA’s previous conclusion that BPA might affect the immune system in animals, but the evidence is too limited to draw any conclusions for human health.”
France bans the sale of BPA products
- France’s constitutional court upheld on Thursday restrictions on selling and importing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to stiffen plastics that some studies suggest poses health risks.
- However, France’s highest court ruled that manufacturers could not be barred from making the chemical for export as it is allowed in many other countries. Reference Reuters
BPA and Hormones
- BPA Is thought to act like the hormone estrogen.
- The highest concerns are with young children as they are developing.
- 3/2016-A study presented at the Endocrine Society’s 98th annual meeting showed there were changes in the mammary tissue of mouse embryos whose mothers were exposed to BPA.
- There is concern that this may increase the risk of breast cancer later in life but more studies are needed to determine this.
- There are some products that advertise BPA-free but the alternatives such as bisphenol-S act like estrogen as well.
- These chemicals have not been as rigorously studied as BPA so there is no way to say if they are safer.
What are the National Institutes for Environmental Health recommendations,
- Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Polycarbonate is strong and durable, but over time it may break down from overuse at high temperatures.
- Plastic containers have recycle codes on the bottom. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
- Reduce your use of canned foods.
- When possible, opt for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food or liquids.
- Use baby bottles that are BPA-free.
Consider using glass water bottles.
How strong is the plastic industry?
- The plastic industry is a 373 billion dollar industry and is the is the third-largest manufacturing industry in the United States which employs 900,000 workers.
Do you use BPA products?