Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous compound in plastics. First synthesized in 1891, the chemical has become a key building block of plastics from polycarbonate to polyester; in the U.S. alone more than 2.3 billion pounds (1.04 million metric tons) of the stuff is manufactured annually.
Since at least 1936 it has been known that BPA mimics estrogens, binding to the same receptors throughout the human body as natural female hormones. And tests have shown that the chemical can promote human breast cancer cell growth as well as decrease sperm count in rats, among other effects. These findings have raised questions about the potential health risks of BPA, especially in the wake of hosts of studies showing that it leaches from plastics and resins when they are exposed to hard use or high temperatures (as in microwaves or dishwashers).
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found traces of BPA in nearly all of the urine samples it collected in 2004 as part of an effort to gauge the prevalence of various chemicals in the human body. It appeared at levels ranging from 33 to 80 nanograms (a nanogram is one billionth of a gram) per kilogram of body weight in any given day, levels 1,000 times lower than the 50 micrograms (one millionth of a gram) per kilogram of bodyweight per day considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Union’s (E.U.) European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Studies suggest that BPA does not linger in the body for more than a few days because, once ingested, it is broken down into glucuronide, a waste product that is easily excreted. Yet, the CDC found glucuronide in most urine samples, suggesting constant exposure to it. “There is low-level exposure but regular low-level exposure,” says chemist Steven Hentges, executive director of the polycarbonate / BPA global group of the American Chemistry Council. “It presumably is in our diet.”
BPA is routinely used to line cans to prevent corrosion and food contamination; it also makes plastic cups and baby and other bottles transparent and shatterproof. When the polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins made from the chemical are exposed to hot liquids, BPA leaches out 55 times faster than it does under normal conditions, according to a new study by Scott Belcher, an endocrine biologist at the University of Cincinnati. “When we added boiling water and allowed it to cool, the rate was greatly increased,” he says, to a level as high as 32 nanograms per hour.
A recent report in the journal Reproductive Toxicology found that humans must be exposed to levels of BPA at least 10 times what the EPA has deemed safe because of the amount of the chemical detected in tissue and blood samples. “If, as some evidence indicates, humans metabolize BPA more rapidly than rodents,” wrote study author Laura Vandenberg, a developmental biologist at Tufts University in Boston, “then human daily exposure would have to be even higher to be sufficient to produce the levels observed in human serum.”
The CDC data shows that 93 percent of 2,157 people between the ages of six and 85 tested had detectable levels of BPA’s by-product in their urine. “Children had higher levels than adolescents and adolescents had higher levels than adults,” says endocrinologist Retha Newbold of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, who found that BPA impairs fertility in female mice. “In animals, BPA can cause permanent effects after very short periods of exposure. It doesn’t have to remain in the body to have an effect.”
But experts are split on the potential health hazards to humans. The Food and Drug Administration has approved its use and the EPA does not consider it cause for concern. One U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel agreed, but another team of government scientists last year found that the amount of BPA present in humans exceeds levels that have caused ill effects in animals. They also found that adults’ ability to tolerate it does not preclude damaging effects in infants and children.
“It is the unborn baby and children that investigators are most worried about,” Newbold says, noting that BPA was linked to increased breast and prostate cancer occurrences, altered menstrual cycles and diabetes in lab mice that were still developing.
Fred vom Saal, a reproductive biologist at the University of Missouri–Columbia, warns that babies likely face the “highest exposure” in human populations, because both baby bottles and infant formula cans likely leach BPA. “In animal studies, the levels that cause harm happen at 10 times below what is common in the U.S.” says vom Saal, who also headed the NIH panel that concluded the chemical may pose risks to humans.
Amid growing concern, Rep. John Dingell (D–Mich.) chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has launched an investigation into BPA, sending letters last month to the FDA and seven manufacturers of infant products sold in the U.S. requesting information on any BPA safety tests as well as specific levels in the baby goods. The companies that make Similac, Earth’s Best and Good Start have already responded, confirming that they coat the inside of their cans with BPA but that analyses did not detect it in the contents. They also emphasize that FDA has approved BPA for such use.
“Based on the studies reviewed by FDA, adverse effects occur in animals only at levels of BPA that are far higher orders of magnitude than those to which infants or adults are exposed,” says FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek. “Therefore, FDA sees no reason to ban or otherwise restrict the uses now authorized at this time.”
FDA first approved BPA as a food container in 1963 because no ill effects from its use had been shown. When Congress passed a law—the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976—mandating that the EPA conduct or review safety studies on new chemicals before giving them the nod, compounds like BPA were already on the market. Therefore, they were not subject to the new rules nor required to undergo additional testing unless specific concerns had been raised (such as in the case of PCBs). “The science that exists today supports the safety of BPA,” ACC’s Hentges says, based largely on research his organization has funded.
But other studies since 1976 have shown that small doses (less than one part per billion) of estrogenlike chemicals, such as BPA, may be damaging. “In fetal mouse prostate you can stimulate receptors with estradiol at about two tenths of a part per trillion, and with BPA at a thousand times higher,” vom Saal says. “That’s still 10 times lower than what a six-year-old has.” In other words, children six years of age were found to have higher levels of BPA’s by-product glucuronide in their urine than did mice dosed with the chemical that later developed cancer and other health issues.
Further complicating the issue is the stew of other estrogen-mimicking chemicals to which humans are routinely exposed, from soy to antibacterial ingredients in some soaps. The effects of such chemical mixtures are not known but scientists say they may serve to enhance the ill effects of one another. “The assumption that natural estrogens are somehow immediately good for you and these chemicals are immediately bad,” Belcher says, “is probably not a reasonable assumption to make.”
The chemical industry argues that unless BPA is proved to have ill effects it should continue to be manufactured and used, because it is cheap, lightweight, shatterproof and offers other features that are hard to match. “There is no alternative for either of those materials that would simply drop in where those materials are used,” Hentges says.
Not so, says vom Saal, who notes that there are plenty of other materials, such as polyethylene and polypropylene plastics, that would be fine substitutes in at least some applications. “There are a whole variety of different kinds of plastic materials and glass,” he says. “They are all more stable than polycarbonate.”
Concern over BPA is not confined only to the U.S. Japanese manufacturers began to use natural resin instead of BPA to line cans in 1997 after Japanese scientists showed that it was leaching out of baby bottles. A subsequent study there that measured levels in urine in 1999 found that they had dropped significantly.
A new E.U. law (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances, or REACH), which took effect last year, requires that chemicals, such as BPA, be proved safe. Currently, though, it continues to be used in Europe; the EFSA last year found no reason for alarm based on rodent studies. European scientists cited multigenerational rat studies as reassuring and noted that mouse studies may be flawed because the tiny rodent is more susceptible to estrogens.
For now, U.S. scientists with concerns about BPA recommend that anyone sharing those worries avoid using products made from it: Polycarbonate plastic is clear or colored and typically marked with a number 7 on the bottom, and canned foods such as soups can be purchased in cardboard cartons instead.
If canned goods or clear plastic bottles are a must, such containers should never be microwaved, used to store heated liquids or foods, or washed in hot water (either by hand or in much hotter dishwashers). “These are fantastic products and they work well … based on my knowledge of the scientific data, there is reason for caution,” Belcher says. “I have made a decision for myself not to use them.”
Mar. 23 — WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) — Exposing plastic bottles to boiling water can release a potentially harmful chemical 55 times faster than normal, new research suggests.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in the plastics that make up water bottles, baby bottles, and other food and drink packaging. It acts as an environmental estrogen and can disrupt the function of the endocrine system.
In 2007, an expert panel convened by the U.S. Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) concluded that exposure to BPA presents some risk to development and reproduction, although it’s unclear at what level that harm begins to occur.
“There isn’t a real answer,” said study senior author Scott Belcher, an associate professor of pharmacology at the University of Cincinnati. “There seems to be a current difference of opinion between the scientific research field and the folks doing risk assessment. If you were to sum it up in an easy, relatively conservative way, the scientific data points to some reason for caution at low concentrations. There really isn’t much information regarding the effects on human populations directly.”
Belcher’s findings appear in the Jan. 30 issue of the journal Toxicology Letters.
Animal experiments have suggested that BPA may mimic the female sex hormone estradiol. The fear has been that exposure to BPA can cause birth defects and developmental problems. In addition, exposure to BPA has been blamed for a variety of other problems, including cancer, diabetes, obesity and attention-deficit disorder.
Exposure to BPA can occur through direct contact or by exposure to food or drink that has been in contact with material containing BPA.
Previous studies had found that repeatedly scrubbing, washing and boiling polycarbonate baby bottles could cause them to release BPA.
“It was migrating from the bottle into the water,” Belcher explained.
This latest study tried to assess the effect from “normal” use, looking at both “old” polycarbonate water bottles from a local climbing gym as well as new bottles of the same brand.
The age of the bottle made no difference in the amount of BPA released.
However, if the bottles were briefly exposed to boiling water, they released BPA 55 times more rapidly than before being dunked in the hot water, the study said.
“There’s nothing new in this paper,” said Steven Hentges, executive director of the polycarbonate business unit of the American Plastics Council. “Migration has been studied many times before. In a sense, this is good news because it confirms what we already know.”
Kirby Donnelly, department head of environmental and occupational health at the Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health, said the new finding was “not surprising” because it is a basic principle of chemistry that if a solvent is heated up, it will form a liquid solution.
“With BPA there are such contradictions as to whether it is toxic or nontoxic; a lot of times, it comes down to dose and duration,” he added.
What does this mean to the average consumer?
According to Belcher, dishwashing temperatures might be OK but he stressed that even without the boiling water, such bottles do release small amounts of BPA.
For his part, Belcher avoids polycarbonate plastic. “That’s been my personal choice,” he said.
Visit Statistical Assessment Service for more on BPA.
SOURCES: Scott Belcher, Ph.D., associate professor, pharmacology, University of Cincinnati; Steven Hentges, Ph.D., executive director, polycarbonate business unit, American Plastics Council; Kirby Donnelly, Ph.D., department head, environmental and occupational health, Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health, College Station; Jan. 30, 2008, Toxicology Letters
- Is BPA-Free Plastic Better? Researchers Don’t Think So
- BPA-alternatives may not be that different
- What’s the difference between tap and bottled water?
- Bottled water to surpass soda as most consumed beverage in US
- BPA linked to lower thyroid hormone levels
- Exposed to extreme heat, plastic bottles may ultimately become unsafe
- A single-use bottle on a hot summer day
- What about reusable containers?
- Understanding What Is BPA
- How Can It Enter Your Body?
- Dangers Of BPA
- Breast and Prostate Cancer
- Cardiovascular Problems
- Dental Issues
- Obesity Breeder
- Pre-Diabetes Trigger
- Reproductive Disorders In Both Men And Women
- Respiratory Problems
- Type 2 Diabetes And Impact Body Weight
- Vitamin D Drain
- Tips To Lessen Exposure From BPA
- Instant Elimination Of The BPA In Water Bottles
- What are bisphenols?
- What are bisphenols in?
- Can bisphenols cause harm?
- How can consumers limit any risks?
- How are bisphenols regulated?
Is BPA-Free Plastic Better? Researchers Don’t Think So
The onslaught of negative press generated by studies like Hunt’s led many manufacturers to ditch BPA — you’ll often see “BPA-free” on labels at your local supermarket.
But confusingly for consumers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calls the chemical “safe.”
“Based on FDA’s ongoing safety review of scientific evidence, the available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging. People are exposed to low levels of BPA because, like many packaging components, very small amounts of BPA may migrate from the food packaging into foods or beverages. Studies pursued by FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) have shown no effects of BPA from low-dose exposure,” the FDA writes on its website.
While this has been the official FDA position on the chemical over the past decade, just this month, it released the findings of a two-year study that doubled down on this, declaring that the compound in small doses is safe.
Hunt said that this has been frustrating for people in her field who feel regulatory agencies need to do a better job of listening to the concerns of outside scientists.
All of this back-and-forth between the scientific community and the FDA can be a headache for consumers unsure of what materials are safe or not in the supermarket aisles.
“It is impossible to simply stop using plastics altogether,” Hunt added. “But I’d like consumers to view plastic products differently. A plastic product showing physical signs of damage is likely degrading — which means it is releasing chemical components. Also, heat is an invitation for chemicals to migrate out of plastics, so putting these products into the dishwasher or microwave really isn’t wise.”
Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH, professor in the department of OB-GYN and director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at University of California, San Francisco, told Healthline that this new research reinforces the importance of having a more comprehensive approach to looking at these common chemicals available in the marketplace.
“This information is out there, but we still go to the store and we have to be able to shop and buy things with confidence,” said Woodruff, who was not part of Hunt’s research.
“What we are focused on is how the policy can be better on this. What I do with my personal life, for instance, is make choices in a case-by-case instance. I try to reduce my use of these microwavable materials. In my consumer choices, I’m always thinking ‘how can we have less of these potentially harmful materials for my family?’”
Woodruff said it’s also important that people take care of their overall health — eating well and exercising, for instance.
We can all do our part to boost our immune systems and work on our “resiliency” to handling these potentially harmful chemicals.
She emphasized that we do our research as consumers, reduce our chemical exposure, avoid putting these materials in the microwave, and work to improve our overall health.
For her part, Hunt added that she will be getting back to her original research to try to understand — and protect against — how chemicals like BPA (and now its replacements) could potentially impact reproductive health.
“I am also very interested in trying to understand how chemicals act and interact in mixtures. Instead of examining each chemical in isolation, we need to look at chemicals in the way we are exposed to them — a complex mix of chemicals,” she wrote.
“It stands to reason that combinations of chemicals will produce very different effects, and that’s something we need to understand.”
The “BPA-free” labels on plastic bottles serve as a reassurance that the product is safe to drink out of.
But new research adds onto growing evidence that BPA-free alternatives may not be as safe as consumers think. Researchers found that in mice, BPA replacements caused decreased sperm counts and less-viable eggs. These effects were then passed on to next generations, scientists reported yesterday (Sept. 13) in the journal Current Biology.
Though this research was done on mice, the researchers think the results could hold true for humans. But more research would be needed to confirm.
BPA, which stands for Bisphenol A, is a chemical that has been used in food and beverage packaging since the 1960s, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Specifically, it is used to make a hard, clear plastic called polycarbonate that found in the protective lining on some metal food and drink cans.
The chemical gets into food and beverages from the containers — especially if the plastic is old or damaged (which can happen, for example, by microwaving it).
In fact, the chemical was so widespread that the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found detectable levels of BPA in 93 percent of over 2,500 urine samples taken in the U.S.
Though there is growing evidence that BPA can cause harm to humans, experts are not certain how exactly BPA affects the body, nor do they know the levels at which the chemical becomes harmful, according to a previous Live Science report. The FDA’s current consensus is that “BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods,” according to its website.
But there is some concern that BPA can mimic the hormone estrogen and could thus disrupt the natural hormonal system in the body, according to the Live Science report.
Though the FDA currently only bans the chemical in baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula packaging, growing public concern and pressure has, throughout the years, led to an influx of “BPA-free” products on the market.
In those products, alternative chemicals are used to replace the function of BPA. And “there’s growing evidence that many of these common replacements are not safe,” senior author Patricia Hunt, a professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University, said in a statement.
BPA-alternatives may not be that different
In the new study, Hunt and her team were actually trying to determine what the effects of BPA were on the reproduction of mice, when they noticed something weird, according to an article in National Geographic.
The mice, all in BPA-free plastic cages, were divided into two groups. One group received BPA through a dropper, while the other group did not. The group that didn’t receive the BPA was supposed to be a control — but then the control mice started to show genetic changes similar to the mice receiving BPA.
They found that the control group was being exposed to the BPA alternative, bisphenol S or BPS from damaged cages. These chemicals were altering their chromosomes— or thread-like structures that contain genes — and leading to problems with egg and sperm production, according to the study.
So they conducted follow-up tests, purposefully exposing the mice to these alternatives, such as BPF, BPS and BPAF. They found similar results. Both sexes had problems properly recombining DNA — the process of forming new chromosomes by combining bits and pieces of genetic material from both parents — to produce sperm and eggs. These changes could lead to less viable sperm and abnormal eggs, according to the statement.
They further found that these alterations can be passed down from generation to generation — and if they completely eliminated all BPA and alternatives, the effects would continue for three generations.
The same team, 20 years ago, found that BPA itself damages egg chromosomes, according to the statement.
The problem might be that the alternatives aren’t much different than BPA itself — all the new versions have the basic chemical structure, with only slight differences from BPA.
Johanna Rochester, a senior scientist at the nonprofit The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, who was not part of the research, told National Geographic that the world should be moving away from BPA alternatives. “We don’t really want to wait another 20 years for all these human studies to show that there is a problem,” she said.
BPA or BPA-alternative, “plastic products that show physical signs of damage or aging cannot be considered safe,” Hunt said in another statement.
Originally published on Live Science.
As record heat bakes parts of the country and the world this month — with July 2019 on track to becoming the hottest month in recorded history — some experts believe there may be more than one reason to keep your bottle of water cool when the temperatures rise in the summer.
Some researchers who study plastics recommend against drinking water from plastic bottles that have been sitting in hot places for a long time — such as a car sizzling in the sun — concerned that the heat could help chemicals from the plastic leach into the water.
The industry disagrees, with the International Bottled Water Association maintaining that plastic bottled water containers are regulated and safe under a variety of conditions, including when they are left in hot cars.
What’s the difference between tap and bottled water?
June 19, 201204:08
But Cheryl Watson, a professor in the biochemistry and molecular biology department at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, advised people not to store bottled water in places that have a significant amount of heat, like a garage or a car parked outside.
“When you heat things up, the molecules jiggle around faster and that makes them escape from one phase into another. So the plastic leaches its component chemicals out into the water much faster and more with heat applied to it,” Watson told TODAY.
“It’s kind of like when you put mint leaves in your tea. The heat extracts the mint-tasting molecules and it happens faster in hot tea than it does in cold tea.”
If you’ve ever left a plastic water bottle in a hot car or another very warm environment for a while, you may notice the water tastes a little funny, Watson noted: “That’s everybody’s bottom-line sensing mechanism — you can even taste it,” she said.
Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.
A 2014 study analyzed 16 brands of bottled water sold in China that were kept at 158 degrees Fahrenheit for four weeks and found increased levels of antimony — listed as a toxic substance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical in certain plastics that can mimic estrogen and has been under scrutiny for years
But of the 16 brands, only one exceeded the EPA standard for antimony and BPA, a University of Florida news release noted.
“I don’t want to mislead people, saying bottled water is not safe. Bottled water is fine. You can drink it — just don’t leave it in a hot temperature for a long time. I think that’s the important message,” Lena Ma, the study’s co-author and a professor of biogeochemistry of trace metals at the University of Florida, told Yahoo Health.
Bottled water to surpass soda as most consumed beverage in US
June 8, 201600:25
Another study, conducted in 2007 by Arizona State University researchers, found summertime temperatures inside cars, garages and enclosed storage areas “could promote antimony leaching from PET bottled waters.”
When it came to Ma’s research, the International Bottled Water Association said the study “misrepresents facts.”
The group noted that BPA is not a chemical component of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the packaging material used to make single-serve bottles of water, and that the level of antimony found in the samples was minimal.
“Bottled water products that are packaged in PET plastic containers do not contain ingredients capable of producing dangerous substances under conditions of normal use,” said Jill Culora, a spokeswoman for the International Bottled Water Association, in a statement.
“Claims that plastic bottled water containers stored in warm environments — for example, a hot vehicle — ‘leach’ unnamed chemicals that cause breast cancer or other maladies are not based in science and are unsubstantiated.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the safety of bottled water, including the packaging, the group noted. As with any food product, bottled water should be stored in a cool dry place, away from household solvents, fuels and other chemicals, and away from direct sunlight, it added.
BPA, which is used to make polycarbonate beverage bottles, food storage containers, metal can coatings, and which also coats some register receipts, has long caused concern about its impact on human health.
But it’s unlikely to be harmful to people in typical doses, the FDA said in 2018.
Oct. 5, 201202:10
Still, Watson, the University of Texas Medical Branch researcher, advised people to always stick to glass or stainless steel water containers — no matter the temperature. Those materials are very inert and don’t leach anything into the water, she said.
Her studies have found products labeled “BPA-free” may contain BPS instead, a chemical that’s very highly related to BPA in structure and appears to act much like BPA, causing the same disruptions of hormone signaling, Watson noted.
“It’s a shell game,” she said. “As we get the word out to the public that BPA is dangerous, they substitute other chemicals that are different, but only slightly different.”
She’s sticking to her trusty stainless steel bottle that she fills at home with filtered tap water.
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Exposed to extreme heat, plastic bottles may ultimately become unsafe
In hot environments, before you reach for a plastic water bottle to keep hydrated, you might think twice about whether it too has been wilting under a hot sun.
“The hotter it gets, the more the stuff in plastic can move into food or drinking water,” says Rolf Halden, director of the Centre for Environmental Health Engineering at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute.
Most plastic items release a tiny amount of chemicals into the beverages or food they contain. As temperature and time increase, the chemical bonds in the plastic increasingly break down and chemicals are more likely to leach. According to the FDA, the amounts of the chemicals are too minuscule to cause health problems, but scientists looking at the long-term effects of filling our lives with plastic say all those small doses could add up in a big way.
A single-use bottle on a hot summer day
Most of the water bottles you find on supermarket shelves are made of a plastic called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. It’s recognisable by the recycling number one and accepted by most curbside recycling programs.
A study conducted by scientists at Arizona State University in 2008 looked at how heat sped up the release of antimony in PET bottles. Antimony is used to manufacture the plastic and can be toxic in high doses, the NIH reports. In mild, 21-degree centigrade weather, the researchers measured safe levels of the chemical in the bottled water. But the hotter the day, the less time it took for water to become contaminated.
A hot car can reach temperatures over 65 degrees centigrade in the summer. In experiments, it took 38 days for water bottles heated to that temperature in a lab to show levels of antimony that exceeded safety recommendations.
“As a general rule, yes, heat helps break down chemical bonds in plastics like plastic bottles, and those chemicals can migrate into beverages they contain,” emails Julia Taylor, a scientist who researched plastic at the University of Missouri.
In 2014 scientists found high traces of antimony and a toxic compound called BPA in water sold in Chinese water bottles. In 2016 scientists found high antimony levels in bottled water sold in Mexico. Both studies tested water under conditions that exceeded 150 degrees Fahrenheit, representing worst-case scenarios.
According to industry group the International Bottled Water Association, bottled water should be kept in the same conditions that consumers keep other groceries.
“Bottled water has an important role in emergency situations. If you’re at risk of dehydration, it doesn’t matter what container that comes in. But for the average consumer,” says Halden, “there is really no benefit for using all these bottles.”
What about reusable containers?
Water bottles that can be used repeatedly are most often made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polycarbonate. HDPE is largely accepted by recycling programs (recycling code number two), but polycarbonate is more difficult to recycle (recycling code number seven).
To make those bottles hard and shiny, manufacturers often use bisphenol-A or BPA, a compound that has come under fire for its toxicity. BPA is an endocrine disrupter, which means it can disrupt normal hormone function and lead to a slew of dangerous health issues. Studies have linked the compound to breast cancer.
The FDA bans BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups, but has found no evidence to support additional restrictions.
Today, we use plastics in almost all aspects of our lives. It is not surprising since plastics are lightweight, sturdy, and lasts a long time.
Yet, according to researchers, having plenty of plastics around can cause serious health problems. Also, the chemical bisphenol A, which is commonly found in the products we use, is something to be cautious of.
In this article, we will discuss what BPA is and what are its effects on the body. We will also introduce the tips on how to minimize the impact of BPA on our health.
Understanding What Is BPA
The acronym BPA stands for Bisphenol A. It was created by a Russian chemist during the year of 1891. In the 1930s, BPA was found to be a chemical that can simulate the functions of the hormone estrogen in humans.
Moreover, the 1950s became the year when BPA made its way into the industry. It became a major factor in the production of plastics all over the globe.
It is a chemical used harden plastics and to make plastic resins, which keeps metal from breaking and corroding. BPA is found in epoxy resins for food and baby formula, polycarbonate drinking bottles, hard plastic baby bottles, and infant glasses. As a matter of fact, studies show that BPA can mix into foods or beverages from containers made with BPA.
These are hard, clear, plastic bottles, for the most part with a reusing code “7” inside the triangle.
Since 2009, most baby bottles made in the U.S. have NOT contained BPA.
It is also used in some medicinal equipment, dental sealants, smaller plates, and warm paper (used in certain sales receipts, fax paper, and lottery tickets).
To sum up, below are the common products that may contain BPA:
- Canned foods
- CDs and DVDs
- Dental filling sealants
- Eyeglass lenses
- Feminine hygiene products
- Household electronics
- Items packaged in plastic containers
- Thermal printer receipts
- Sports equipment
It’s important that numerous BPA-items have simply taken over BPA with bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF).
Yet, even little concentrations of BPS and BPF may upset the capacity of your cells in a path like BPA. In this way, without BPA-free bottles may not be a satisfactory result.
Plastic items labeled with the recycling numbers 3 and 7 or the letters “PC” likely contain BPA, BPS, or BPF.
How Can It Enter Your Body?
The primary source of BPA exposure is through your eating routine or diet. At the point when BPA containers are made, not the majority of the BPA gets sealed into the item. This enables some part of it to break free. And blend with the container’s substance once food or liquids are included. For example, an ongoing report found that BPA levels in urine declined by 66% after three days. Amid which members maintained a strategic distance from packaged foods. Another study had individuals eat one serving of either new or canned soup every day for five days. Urine levels of BPA were 1,221% higher in the individuals who ate up the canned soup. Moreover, the WHO revealed that BPA levels in breastfed babies were up to many times. Lower than those in children fed liquid formula from BPA-containing bottles.
BPA is known as an endocrine disruptor. It can imitate the hormone of the body and hinder with its production, transport, and secretion. It copies how the hormones behave such as the estrogen.
According to studies, pregnant moms and children are susceptible to BPA.
BPA is mostly found in a water bottle and became a very serious issue, especially for water bottle industries. The president of the company DrinkMore Water, Bob Perini, decided to remove polycarbonate bottles from their portfolio.
They substituted their products into PET bottles with ZERO BPA. It is a tough and expensive decision because it costs more than $1 million. Nonetheless, it was a brave and wise decision to make to promote health and wellness for the consumers.
Dangers Of BPA
The controversy about the danger and safeness of BPA has been long discussed and is still being debated as we speak. Some agency and company say, it safe for numerous reasons.
On the other hand, many rebut by showing different facts and figures that it can be detrimental to one’s health.
A lot of research was conducted to figure out the real deal about the chemical, BPA. Although, even if how hard we try to convince ourselves and people that it is useful and safe, the effects on one’s health are inevitable.
The effects of BPA on our health are hazardous. It causes several health problems to occur, especially if the person is exposed often to it.
Health problems such as cancer, diabetes, and birth defects are some of the most common cases. It can also damage our respiratory system and kidneys.
Here is a list of the most common health risks of being too exposed to BPA.
Breast and Prostate Cancer
Experts believe that excessive exposure to BPA can increase the risk of cancer in the prostate, breast, and other parts of the body.
Furthermore, it is stated in the study that fetal exposure to BPA can cause long-lasting effects on the body organs. This is especially true for babies who can potentially lead to hormone-related cancers as they grow up.
Medical professionals found out that BPA can hamper the effectiveness of chemotherapy during treatment for cancer.
Studies found out that even low-dose exposure to BPA is linked to cardiovascular problems. Examples of which are coronary heart disease, heart attack, angina, and peripheral artery disease.
BPA from plastic can trigger atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, and changes in the blood pressure.
A French study done in 2013 found out that low yet daily exposure to BPA can cause tooth enamel damage. Although the study needs more research, they have found out that the white marks and brittle enamel on teeth of the 18 children can be signs of BPA overexposure at an early age.
In 2013, the scientists of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute evaluated the BPA levels in the urine of the 1,326 children in Shanghai.
They have found out that girls who have higher BPA level in their system were twice likely to be obese than the average children in their place.
In a paper published in the Acta Diabetologica stated that people with high BPA level in their urine are found to be linked with a pre-diabetes condition. Meanwhile, this is independent of the risk factors of traditional diabetes.
Interestingly, the study states that regardless of the level of diet and fitness, BPA can affect glucose metabolism through resistance to insulin, adipogenesis, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
Reproductive Disorders In Both Men And Women
Women Reproductive Disorder
In today’s generation, it is impossible to avoid contact with BPA because it is available almost anywhere. Most of the food items today are packed using BPA materials. Also, BPA is an environmental contaminant.
The scientists from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital published a study in 2013, wherein it shows that BPA exposure can affect the maturation of egg in women.
Also in 2015, another study was conducted which states that BPA can hamper how the endocrine functions. Such includes the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. It suggests that due to BPA disruption, it can affect ovulation and puberty. In the long run, it can even lead to infertility.
In a study published by the Jilin Medical College of China in 2013, it has been found out that long-term exposure of women in BPA can cause endocrine disorders. Then, it is followed by functional and morphological changes in the vagina, uterus, oviducts, and ovary. Indeed, this is known to cause fertility issues.
In another study done by the University of California, in San Francisco, they have discovered that BPA exposure of female patients can interfere with the oocyte. Furthermore, the health of the oocyte was diminished during IVF. As such, proper implantation and conception can be disrupted.
Men Infertility Caused By BPA
The researchers at the University of Buea in Cameron have studied the effects of BPA in infertility. They have found out various results regarding the reproductive health of the men.
First, BPA can influence male impotence. Massive exposure of men to BPA may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. There can also be problems with ejaculation and sexual desire.
Second, BPA can affect the balance of the hormone. In adults, this chemical can affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. It can alter the hormones which are known to cause sperm dysfunction.
It can also prompt oxidative stress in the epididymis and testis. As such, it can suggest antioxidant supplementation which in turn could offset BPA-induced side effects.
Third, Men who are often exposed to BPA can be more susceptible to develop urinary problems and abnormal semen parameters.
Babies At The Womb Is At Risk Of Diseases
Babies in the womb are at high-risk of adapting the negative effects of the BPA. They are at the critical stage of embryo development. It can prevent the proper development of the embryo thyroid.
BPA can produce various defects in babies. Examples of which are the feminization of the male fetus, increased prostate size, atrophy of the testes, disruption of BTB, and shortening of AGD. It also includes the alteration of the adult sperm parameters like sperm density, count, and motility.
Finally, according to experts, the adverse health effects of BPA can be transgenerational.
Fetal Brain Development
When pregnant moms are exposed to large doses of BPA, their babies’ brain development could be affected. This is especially true during gestation.
Some of the impacts in the developmental stage include DNA modification, interference with the regulation of estrogen, and anxiety after birth.
Similarly, in a study published in 2016, it has been found out that early exposure to BPA can result in a higher risk of developing respiratory problems. Examples of which are asthma and pneumonia.
Type 2 Diabetes And Impact Body Weight
Even low-level exposure to BPA can contribute to insulin resistance. In the long run, it can cause type 2 diabetes. Studies found out that BPA can impact body weight.
Vitamin D Drain
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to various health problems of both the adults and children today. Some of these illnesses are weight gain, heart disease, arthritis, insomnia, and even cancer.
In a study conducted in September 2016, it has been found out that exposure to BPA can lower Vitamin D levels.
Apart from BPA, phthalates, which can be found in vinyl and fake fragrances, can disrupt the hormone and lower the levels of Vitamin D.
Furthermore, experts agree that hormone disruptors can mess with the active form of Vitamin D in the body, just as how it disrupts the normal functioning of the thyroid.
Meanwhile, if you’re worried about BPA, you can follow these simple steps to lessen its exposure to your body:
Tips To Lessen Exposure From BPA
1. Use BPA-Free Products
Manufacturing companies create hundreds of thousands of BPA-free products. The next time you buy products, make sure to be keen and look for the label ‘BPA-free.’ If you can’t see the label on the product, do not panic. Take note that some plastics marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 indicates products made with BPA.
2. Cut Back On Cans
Since most cans are made with BPA-containing resins, there is one solution to do. Lessen the use and consumption of canned foods. Most importantly, cook from raw and scratch to ensure much more healthy meals.
3. Avoid Heat
Advice from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, part of the National Institute of Health, is to avoid microwaving polycarbonate plastics.
Furthermore, putting them in dishwashers is also a big no. Since plastics may break down over time and allow BPA to seep into food and beverages.
4. Use Alternatives
We have to be mindful of everything that we do especially to our health. Instead of using plastic containers for hot food and beverages, substitute them with something more “healthy.”
You can use porcelains, stainless steel, and glass containers to avoid BPA in leaching into your foods.
Some of the precautionary methods here mostly require a change in lifestyle. That is a huge decision to make and requires a lot of effort and time. Especially, if you are the person who grabs breakfast with canned food, why eliminate that part of your life? You can actually opt to retain or just minimize the use of it. However, there is one option that can definitely guarantee you the lifestyle you still want.
5. Sports Berkey Water Filtration System
Sports Berkey water filtration system and all Berkey systems with Black Berkey Elements eliminate 99.9% of unpleasant taste and odor, unwanted chemicals, sediments, salts, and chlorine. This water filtration system is designed to diminish heavy metals, toxic chemicals, detergents, pesticides, petroleum-based products, VOCs (Volatile organic compounds), chlorides and trihalomethanes. Most importantly, this product is made from BPA-free materials.
Instant Elimination Of The BPA In Water Bottles
The Berkey water filtration system instantly removes BPA and other unwanted chemicals in water bottles. This water filter utilizes the Ionic Absorption Micro Filtration.
The “Tortuous Path” arrangement gives unique characteristics to the Sports Berkey Water Filter. It offers an expedient and portable filtration system with the use of medical grade technology.
In sum, there is various research that shows BPA can seep into the food from containers and affect the body. Exposure to this chemical is one of the health concerns nowadays. Especially for children. In light of the proof, it’s ideal to find a way to restrict your BPA exposure and other potential food toxins. Specifically, pregnant women may gain by maintaining a strategic distance from BPA. Particularly amid the beginning periods of pregnancy. On other people, periodically drinking from a “PC” plastic bottle or eating from a can is most likely not a reason to fear. All things considered, swapping plastic containers for BPA-free ones requires little effort. For a possibly enormous health sway. When you intend to eat fresh, whole foods, you’ll consequently confine your BPA exposure. Although according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), BPA is generally safe at low levels. But, they are still conducting a review to support the claim. In the meantime, you can follow the tips mentioned above. And protect your family from its potential risks.
What are bisphenols?
Bisphenols are a group of chemicals used to manufacture plastics, epoxy resins and other products since the 1960s. Bisphenol-A (BPA), the most infamous of the group of 40 or so chemicals, was initially investigated for pharmaceutical use as synthetic estrogen in the 1930s. Many plastic products marketed as BPA-free contain similar replacement chemicals.
What are bisphenols in?
Receipt paper, food and beverage can liners, food packaging, DVDs and CDs, medical equipment, toys and automotive parts, water bottles and some dental sealants.
BPA is considered a building block of plastic and is one of the most used industrial chemicals used today.
Can bisphenols cause harm?
Though the health effects of BPA are still debated, it is thought to be an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen in the body, potentially causing adverse health effects.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is concerned about BPA because “it is a reproductive, developmental and systemic toxicant in animal studies and is weakly estrogenic”, adding there are “questions about its potential impact, particularly on children’s health and the environment”. Studies, the agency says, “indicate that the levels of BPA in humans and the environment are below levels of potential concern for adverse effects”. But the EPA says “results of some recent studies” using low doses describe “subtle effects in laboratory animals at very low concentrations”, and notes some authorities, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are taking steps to “protect sensitive populations, particularly infants and young children”.
BPA is most likely ingested through contaminated food and water and has been found in more than 90% of the population in the US over six years old. Some other bisphenols, such as BPF and halogenated bisphenol, are also suspected of having toxic effects, researchers at a Japanese university concluded in 2015.
Recent research has linked the chemical to a wide range of health conditions in human and animal studies. A 2007 study co-authored by EPA and university researchers concluded BPA exposure affects the male reproductive system, brain and metabolic processes. Japanese researchers found possible links between high levels of BPA and recurring miscarriages. In two studies 25 years apart, a researcher from Washington State University found links between both BPA and BPS – a widespread replacement for BPA – and genetic damage in laboratory mice. A long-awaited 2018 government report, controversial among some in the scientific community, showed no conclusive effects from BPA in animal studies.
BPA has been found in the urine of nearly all people tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as in amniotic fluid and breast milk of some women. A 2015 study co-authored by the EPA and university researchers found BPA in the breast milk of about 90% of lactating women in a small survey. University of Tokyo researchers detected BPA in the amniotic fluid of full-term fetuses in 2002. Prenatal exposure to the chemical has been linked to anxiety, depression and hyperactivity among children, and increased risk of breast cancer later in life.
BPS, the main replacement for BPA following consumer backlash, may have similar effects to its predecessor. A 2018 study from Washington State University scientists found similar biological effects in lab mice from both BPA and BPS. A 2017 study co-authored by EPA researchers found that six BPA alternatives had as much, if not more, of an estrogen-mimicking effect on human breast cancer cells.
How can consumers limit any risks?
BPA is absorbed into the body mainly through food and drink, though contaminated air and dust might also be a factor.
Cut down on canned food or, if you can’t, rinse the food in water. Don’t microwave food in plastic containers or cans.
Avoid plastic with a 3 or 7 recycle code on the bottom, and use non-plastic containers when possible for food and drinks.
Choose BPA-free water and baby bottles (though these likely contain BPS or other alternatives).
How are bisphenols regulated?
The FDA has banned BPA in infant bottles, sippy cups and formula packaging, but declared it safe for other uses. The EPA says it has no plans to introduce BPA regulations, thought it has raised concerns over its health and environmental effects.
The EU expanded its restrictions last year on the use of BPA in food packaging, building on a previous ban of the chemical in infant bottles. A 2016 decision to ban BPA in receipt paper is expected to kick in next year in the EU, with BPS likely to be used as a replacement. France has enacted one of the strictest BPA regulations, banning BPA in all food and beverage packaging and utensils since 2015.
Canada declared BPA a toxic chemical in 2010. While it still bans the use of BPA in baby bottles, government agencies now maintain that the chemical is not a human health risk.
Bisphenol A is arguably one of the most controversial compounds on earth. It’s been studied, researched, and tested by hundreds of scientists in hundreds of studies. Many of these studies indicate that it is harmless in the quantities tested, while others conclude that it is a serious endocrine disrupter.
As background, bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical compound that goes into many different products, some food-related and some not. It has been widely used for many years and continues to be used today. One of its primary uses is to make a type of plastic called polycarbonate (also known as “Lexan”). This material is used extensively as a liner for both steel and aluminum cans—including everything from soup and tuna fish cans to beer and soda cans. Every one of these cans needs some type of coating to prevent rusting on the inside to avoid the food or beverage acquiring a metallic taste.
In the bottled water business, polycarbonate has been the traditional plastic of choice for 5 gallon bottles since the industry began. But because of the BPA concern, many consumers wanted other choices for their bottled water containers. DrinkMore Water has been a pioneer in the industry in this area. More than 10 years ago, we made the decision to eliminate all polycarbonate jugs from our inventory by switching all of our bottles to PET plastic, then additionally offering glass 3 and 5 gallon bottles to our purity-discerning customers.
BPA continues to be a significant issue for the food industry. It’s difficult to say whether it’s 100% safe or not – but at DrinkMore, we’re not taking any chances. We’ve said NO to BPA in our containers. Ultimately, the decision to switch from polycarbonate bottles to PET and glass bottles required an investment of well more than $1 million—but that was a small price to pay to ensure the purity of our water for our customers. It was the best way to offer our customers the peace of mind that they would never have any BPA in any of their DrinkMore Water products. We are proud to offer bottled water that you can consume without any concern for BPA or for your or your family’s health or safety.
Here are the blog posts – but, please note that I can’t guarantee that all of the links are still working…
Post #1 – April 8, 2008
There have been a number of media stories recently regarding the safety of bottles made out of polycarbonate – which has as one of its ingredients a substance called bisphenol A, or BPA. Several customers have called saying they saw one of these reports on TV or in the newspaper and were inquiring as to what DrinkMore Water had to say about the issue.
First of all, these reports are all reviews of existing studies. None of these reports or panels provides any new research, rather, they are commenting on and analyzing the studies that have been done in the past. The one thing that is perfectly clear to me is that a lot more research has to be done on the issue before definitive conclusions are reached. Polycarbonate has long been approved for usage by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for beverage containers. There are several things at issue here that the scientific community cannot seem to agree upon. For example, there is a question as to whether or not BPA can migrate from the bottle. That leads to other questions – like what test conditions should we use to see if BPA does or does not migrate. So, one camp says let’s pour boiling hot water into the bottle, add harsh cleaning chemicals and see what happens with respect to migration. That would be simulating the worst possible scenario. Another camp might evaluate the migration issue using real world conditions – like washing at a much lower temperature with commonly used washing detergents.
Then there is the question of whether BPA is toxic at all. From my reading, there are no clear cut conclusions. It’s similar to the recent study by the Associated Press (which was also a review of existing literature) that concluded there were pharmaceutical drugs in the tap water of most communities nationwide. Birth control medications, high blood pressure drugs, and anti-depressants were among those identified. So, a big question is “how much is actually in there”? And the next question is “how much is too much”? I saw one analysis that suggested you would have to consume several thousand gallons of water before ever coming close to the dosage in a single birth control pill. So, should you be worried? That is for each person to decide for him/herself.
So, I went to the bottled water industry’s website and here is the statement that I found: http://www.bottledwatermatters.com/
I would encourage you to go and read that article. As far as DrinkMore Water is concerned, we continue to monitor the issue closely. As most of you already know, we carry several alternatives to the polycarbonate 5-gallon bottles. We carry both 3-gallon and 5-gallon glass bottles that are purity defined. Nothing can or will ever migrate from glass. Then we also carry a full line of BPA-Free PET (that’s #1 plastic) bottles including all sizes of single serve – 12 oz, ½ liter, 24 oz, and 1 liter – as well as 5-gallon bottles in PET that do not have any BPA in them whatsoever. They come at a slightly higher cost than the polycarbonate bottles. If you are interested in switching to glass or PET bottles, please give our Customer Service Team a call and they can help you out.
Rest assured that your DrinkMore Water team is on top of this issue and will continue to keep you – our valued customers – informed of all the latest developments.
Post #2 – April 27, 2008
Please forgive me in advance because this is a long entry for a blog. If you truly want to learn more about issues swirling around BPA, then please read it all. I think you’ll find it quite interesting.
Well, I think this week alone, there have been three front page articles in the Washington Post regarding Bisphenol-A (BPA). I thought it might be worthwhile to jot down some additional thoughts for people to consider.
One of the biggest problems fueling the BPA controversy is the idea that the FDA’s guideline for maximum BPA consumption (currently 50 micrograms/kilogram of bodyweight) is too high. Some researchers believe that number is too high (while the FDA and other researchers currently think it’s correct). The media has taken to the story and practically implies that any BPA at all will probably kill you.
So, to put that number – 50 micrograms/kilogram of bodyweight – into context, I think it would be beneficial to compare the FDA’s BPA guidelines to some other chemicals that are found around town. First of all, it is important to realize that BPA is a lot more prevalent in products than perhaps many people think. Did you know that in addition to being found in polycarbonate bottles, BPA is used to line the interior of just about every soup can, every beer can, every soda can, every baby formula can, every canned green beans can, etc. There are a very, very few food manufacturers who use other chemical formulations to line the interior of their cans. Obviously, every can has to be lined with something to keep the food or beverage from coming into direct contact with the metal of the can. Without a lining, the can would begin rusting immediately (if it was steel or tin). Aluminum cans would start leaching aluminum into the food or beverage if not properly lined. So, all cans need to be lined. Eden Foods, for example, claims that their cans are not lined with BPA – but I can’t find out exactly what chemicals they are using to line their cans.
So, BPA is out there in all sorts of places that people don’t normally think of. The media focus has been on bottles made out of polycarbonate. The National Toxicology Program, which recently released its preliminary findings, was primarily focused on the effects of BPA on babies and pregnant women. That focus was based upon research (done on mice) that suggests babies may be less able to process and eliminate BPA than are adults. The focus therefore was on baby bottles. Furthermore, mothers have been told to sterilize their baby bottles in order to kill bacteria. Washing baby bottles with boiling water can exacerbate the migration of BPA from polycarbonate bottles. So, BPA’s effects on infants have come into focus.
So, let’s dig a little deeper. For reference purposes, let’s take a person who weighs 154 lbs (that would be 70 kilograms). The FDA’s guideline of 50 micrograms per kilogram means that a 154 lb person should have a maximum daily BPA intake of not more than 3,500 micrograms of BPA (which is equivalent to 3.5 milligrams). Exactly how much is one microgram? Let’s say you put one microgram of BPA into a liter of water. The concentration of BPA would be one microgram per liter. That is the equivalent to one part per billion. That is a very small amount. It is the equivalent of one second in 32 years!! So 3,500 micrograms is equivalent to about one hour in 32 years.
The real question is how much is too much. Is it 3,500 micrograms? Is it 1,000 micrograms? Is it 100 micrograms? Should it be zero micrograms? I can assure you that I don’t know the answer to that question – nor do any of the scientists who have performed the studies. But, I do know that there are all sorts of chemicals that we consume every single day. Some are a lot more toxic than others. Let’s look at lead (a heavy metal that EVERYONE AGREES IS VERY, VERY TOXIC). EPA regulations say that that maximum amount of lead in tap water should be no more than 15 micrograms per liter (or 15 parts per billion). By the way, the FDA – which regulates bottled water says that maximum number for lead should be 10 micrograms per liter. So when you read that bottled water doesn’t even have to meet EPA levels – you know someone is being dishonest!! FDA bottled water regulations are considerably stricter than EPA regulations for tap water.
Does that mean that if your water has 12 micrograms/liter of lead in it, that it’s ok? In a sense yes, and, in other ways, no. I think if you asked most scientists, they would say that 12 is better than 15, but 2 would be better than 12, and zero would be better than 2. Same analysis goes for such tasty things as arsenic or chromium or cyanide. Did you know that the EPA’s maximum contaminant level for cyanide in tap water is 200 micrograms per liter ( while the FDA’s limit for cyanide in bottled water is 100 micrograms per liter). If you drink 3 liters of tap water in a day, that would mean that you could ingest up to 600 micrograms of cyanide and that would be within the limits of acceptability from a risk standpoint according to the EPA. Seems kinda crazy to me. Arsenic’s maximum is 10 micrograms per liter. These are some very toxic chemicals, yet the maximum is not zero.
The point is that it would be virtually impossible from a public policy standpoint to set all these levels to zero. Further confusing the issue is what exactly is zero? There are 1,000 nanograms in one microgram. If you said the limit for lead was one microgram per liter – that’s still 1,000 nanograms. Is that OK? Why not zero? One nanogram is equivalent to one second in 32,000 years!! When do you say enough is enough? That is truly a public policy issue.
So, let’s go back to BPA. How much is too much? Is the amount of BPA in polycarbonate bottles too much? If I told you that there was 1 microgram of BPA in a 5 gallon water bottle, would you switch to a glass bottle or a PET bottle? Remember the 3,500 micrograms? Remember the 600 micrograms of cyanide that the EPA would say is OK? Is BPA more toxic than cyanide? I kinda doubt that but you can and should reach your own conclusions. How many micrograms of BPA are in that can of soup you opened last night? How about those three beer cans you had last night? Drinking diet cola? Yep. Heck, just like with pharmaceuticals in tap water – could there be BPA in tap water? I believe the answer is yes – scientists have found very small amounts in tap water – probably less than 1 microgram per liter. But, what if it was 400 nanograms? Would that be OK?
In a sense, the current controversy surrounding BPA, makes that chemical out to be worse than cyanide or lead or arsenic or any one of a number of extremely toxic chemicals. My guess is that the FDA will review all of the available studies on BPA and determine that it is safe at a particular level. Will the “safe” level remain at 50 micrograms per kg of bodyweight? I don’t know. Maybe they set the new level at 40 micrograms or 25 micrograms or even 10 micrograms per kilogram. If they do that, then polycarbonate water bottles will be deemed safe. If they set a level for bottled water and tap water, the bottles will be deemed safe. Will the controversy go away? I don’t know, but probably not. Think back to the cyanide and arsenic examples. I don’t read anything about the toxicity of cyanide or arsenic in the morning paper – but it’s still very much allowable in food and water.
The bottom line is that every person and every family has to assess the risks and make decisions. I know one thing for certain. We use reverse osmosis technology to remove virtually 99.5% of ALL contaminants from the water. There’s no cyanide, arsenic or lead in our water. That is a good thing. I don’t want to consume more than my fair share of chemicals any more than you do. As a company, DrinkMore Water gives you options. We have BPA-free glass bottles. We have BPA-free plastic (PET #1) bottles. We have FDA-approved polycarbonate bottles. It’s your choice. I wish people would think the same way about the water they drink and the food they eat – and all the chemicals that can be found inside food and water – as they do about BPA. Because if they did, they would only drink DrinkMore Water.
Oh, and by the way, I bring home my DrinkMore Water in polycarbonate bottles. I’ve done so for 15 years, I have three kids, and I have my choice of whatever I want – glass, BPA-free plastic, or polycarbonate.
Told you it was interesting!
If you are interested in yet another perspective, I thought this article was more balanced than most. It just came out this weekend. Check it out:
Post #3 – April 29, 2008
This is just in from the newswire.The FDA comes out with a statement about BPA.PLEASE take a moment to check out the link below.My goal is to keep you informed about all of the recent developments regarding BPA.
Post #4 – August 21, 2008
As promised, I want to keep you all updated on the latest news about BPA (I think everyone who’s been reading my blog knows by now what BPA is!) and the controversy it has driven worldwide.
In May’s Harvard Health Letter, Harvard’s Dr. Claire McCarthy advised the public to be cautious of the use of plastics, especially when dealing with infants and children, and to minimize exposure to BPA as much as possible because the health risks were unknown at the time. Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, President of the American Council on Science and Health responded to this public warning, maintaining “that the use of plastic bottles and other plastic products pose no known hazard to human health.”
In light of all the public opinions by scientists and medical experts, there finally seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel in the ongoing debate on BPA safety. On July 24, the The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that “the human body rapidly metabolizes and eliminates Bisphenol A (BPA) and thus the substance presents no risk to adults, children or infants.”
More recently, In its draft assessment made available to the public on August 14, 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “concluded that an adequate margin of safety exists for BPA at current levels of exposure from food contact uses.” The report further states that BPA products are safe for both infants and adults.
In response to recent reports by outside organizations, namely the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and Environmental Canada (EC), the FDA formed a Task Force to evaluate the safety of all BPA-containing FDA-regulated products. Currently, the Task Force has evaluated the claims outlined in the risk assessments released by the NTP and they have made recommendations for further research in the draft assessment. FDA Commissioner,Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D, said, “Thus far, the science FDA has reviewed does not justify recommending that anyone discontinue using these products. But we continue to investigate new research regarding the safety of BPA.”
In September, the FDA will hold a meeting open to the public to discuss the draft assessment of the safety of BPA. Outside experts, as a subcommittee of the Science Board, are asked to review the work of the FDA and are to present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee.
I’m on it!!
Post #5 – September 8, 2008
The latest BPA news comes for a Yale studyexamining the effects of BPA against monkeys to more closely simulate the effects of the chemical on humans as opposed to previous studies using rodents. The study revealed a connection between BPA and problems with brain function and mood disorders in the monkeys – marking the first time the chemical has been connected to health problems in primates.
Yale’s study differed from its predecessors because its “goal was to more closely mimic the slow and continuous conditions under which humans would normally be exposed to BPA,” said study author Csaba Leranth, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and in Neurobiology at Yale. She claims, “As a result, this study is more indicative than past research of how BPA may actually affect humans.”
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still holds that it is, “not recommending that anyone discontinue using products that contain BPA” while it continues its risk assessment process. The concern for baby bottles is that adding hot liquids to a products containing BPA, such as a plastic baby bottle, could cause the substance to leach from the product and be consumed by infants.
So, until the FDA holds its meeting on BPA on September 15, there will not likely be an official statement on any official US news, but if BPA concerns you, remember there are alternatives like using glass bottles. DrinkMore Water is also the only company (that we know of at least!!) that carries BPA-free #1 5-gallon plastic bottles. So, if you’re concerned about BPA – please give us a call!!