People raise concerns about a number of different chemicals and additives. Some are unfounded, while some aren’t. But, what about BPA? Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical used to harden plastics. It’s found in plastic bottles, baby bottles, the lining of tin cans and a variety of other food containers. The BPA in these products can seep into the contents and then enter your body when you consume them. But, does it matter? Should you go BPA free?
Should You Go BPA Free?:
In 1998 a scientist named Dr. Patricia Hunt was studying the ovaries of mice. One day, she noticed that chromosomal errors unexpectedly jumped from 2% to 40%, leading to miscarriages and birth defects. Eventually, Dr. Hunt determined that BPA was to blame. It was leching in from the plastic mouse cages and water bottles. When Dr. Hunt replaced the plastic, the mice returned to normal. Since then there’s been a number of studies on the health effects of BPA in animals and humans.
A recent study served participants drinks out of either glass bottles, cans (containing BPA) or glass bottles and cans. Not surprisingly, the researchers found that BPA concentration in urine rose more than 1,600% after drinking from the cans. More importantly, those who drank from the cans had significantly elevated systolic blood pressure, while those who drank from the bottles experienced no changes. This study is important because it shows a direct causal link between BPA ingestion and a marker of heart disease. BPA has previously been associated with cancer, infertility, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, coronary artery disease, obesity, depression, anxiety and autism.
The FDA banned BPA in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups in 2012, however BPA is still common in a number of containers. Unfortunately, recent research also shows that BPA free products (usually made with bisphenol S) may be just as harmful. In fact, a 2011 study that tested 455 plastic containers found that virtually all of them leached harmful chemicals. So, your best bet is to use glass, porcelain or steel containers when possible. Here‘s a great Tupperware option. Here‘s a great water bottle. Consuming a little BPA probably won’t do too much harm (and is pretty much unavoidable), but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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