Bisphenol A Exposure

Are you at risk for Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure?

What is Bisphenol A?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in the production of various types of plastic products, including epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics. Polycarbonate plastic is used to manufacture many products, ranging from baby bottles and tableware to cars and DVDs. But it is not found in softer, more flexible products, such as single-serving water bottles. Epoxy resins are used as coatings inside metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes.

What does BPA exposure mean to your health?

The health risks associated with BPA exposure remain a controversial issue in today’s news. 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 additional studies have linked BPA to increased risk of breast cancer, obesity, and neurological problems. Some countries, including Canada, 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 are quick to point out that the FDA’s studies were funded by chemical companies and could therefore be biased, and that both studies fail to analyze the cumulative effect of exposure to BPA over a long period of time. So it is advisable to monitor the news for any further FDA findings on BPA.

Are you at risk for exposure to BPA?

In a recent survey, nearly 93% of U.S. residents tested (aged 6 years 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, such as those used to feed infants; BPA may leach from these protective epoxy linings.

How can you reduce your exposure to BPA?

Avoid plastics that have a “7” in the center of the recycling symbol (indicates it is made from polycarbonate).

For infants, use glass or stainless steel bottles.

For more information about the risks of BPA, contact your health care provider or visit the National Institutes of Health Web site at: www.niehs.nih.gov/news/media/questions/sya-bpa.cfm

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