Bisphenol A, which is shortened to simply BPA, is known as an organic compound that has two phenol, functional groups. BPA has been known to be used in the creation of epoxy resins, polycarbonate plastic, and other applications. BPA has been known to be estrogenic since at least the 1930s, and it has been the subject of news reports that dealt with consumer concern for the amount of BPA in consumer products. In the past few years, BPA has been the subject of a few government reports that questioned the safety of the organic compound, which, in turn, caused some retailers to actually remove some products that contained it from their shelves. In Canada and the European Union, BPA is not allowed in products such as baby bottles.

What BPA is


BPA is an industry chemical that include epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastic, primarily. Epoxy resins are known to coat the interior of metal products; these are metal products like baby formula cans, food cans, bottle tops, and even water supply lines. Polycarbonate plastic is found in containers that store both beverages and food, containers like cups, baby bottles and water bottles. Research has indicated that there is the possibility that BPA can leak into either food or beverages from BPA-made containers. At this point in time, the research is divided over whether BPA is bad for humans, but organizations like the American Chemistry Council says BPA is not a health risk.

Where BPA is most often found

Plastic BottleBPA is most often found in plastic goods as it is commonly used to make plastics. The two most common sources of BPA are polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastic is utilized to make widespread products like dental fillings, medical devices, baby bottles, eyeglass lenses, sealants, household electronics, DVDs and CDs. Epoxy resins are found on nearly all the inner coatings of food and beverage cans. The science on BPA is such that it is believed BPA might have impacted public health, yet the degree of that impact is in dispute. Recycling codes can be used to identify plastics that contain BPA; plastics that generally contain BPA are marked as 3 and 7.

Hidden sources of BPA

BPA is insidious in that there are hidden sources of this organic compound. One of the most infamous sources of hidden BPA is in aluminum water bottles, which have already made headlines in the news to some extent. Even companies like SIGG, which is known for making aluminum water bottles, were in the news in the last couple of years for having used BPA in their aluminum water bottles. Due to the controversy, SIGG made certain that they no longer use BPA in their aluminum water bottles, even though testing that was shown not to leak the compound was performed.

Health effects of BPA exposure

The health effects of BPA exposure can be extreme and serious because BPA is known to be an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors can mimic the human body’s own hormones, which can in turn lead to bad health effects. Other health effects thought to be caused by BPA are negative fetal and infant brain development, increased obesity, neurological issues like interference with brain cell connections that are important to mood and memory, interference with the good working of the thyroid gland, and the potential to bring about cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Public and private response

The public and the private responses to BPA-related concerns and bad publicity have been mixed. For instance in the U.S, BPA is not banned in plastics, but other countries like Canada have actually gone ahead already to ban the organic compound, but only in baby bottles. Even though BPA is not banned in the U.S., the U.S. government has still commissioned reports to study both the safety of BPA and all the health-related concerns that have been popping up in the media over the last few years. In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a report in which more alarm was raised about the possible dangers of having BPA exposed to fetuses, young kids and infants. Companies that used BPA in their products, such as Switzerland’s SIGG maker of aluminum water bottles, have stopped using the compound in their products out of response to the public outcry and bad publicity. While manufacturers like Switzerland’s SIGG have never admitted wrongdoing by admitting that the BPA content in their products was toxic, they have nonetheless avoided BPA in the present.

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