Bisphenol A, commonly referred to as BPA, is an organic synthetic compound in the form of a colorless solid that is soluble in organic solvents with a formula C15H16O2 . Its chemical formula is (CH₃)₂C(C₆H₄OH)₂ and is commonly used in the production of plastics and epoxy resins. In fact, over 8 billion pounds of BPA are used in manufacturing each year.
Is it harmful to your health?
Government organizations (such as the FDA) have held mixed stances on the issue. The FDA used to consider BPA as safe, but in 2010 the organization changed its position and warned that there is “some concern” over the potential effects of BPA, especially for infants and children. Studies on BPA and its effects on human health have been inconclusive, but the FDA has since listed the substance as a “chemical of concern,” and cited possible health issues such as:
Irregular Hormone levels
Brain and behavior problems
Elevated risks for developing cancer
Is there BPA in my water?
It is more likely than you would think. The main method of human exposure to BPA is through the ingestion of contaminated food and water. Some of the most common applications for BPA based plastics include the production of water bottles and food containers. And BPA based epoxy resins are commonly used to line water pipes as well as the inside of many food and beverage containers.
What can I do to avoid BPA?
Look for products that are labeled “BPA free.” This isn’t as hard as it used to be. With the growing concern over the chemical, some manufacturers are finding ways to produce plastics and resins without BPA.
Avoid food and water that comes packaged with BPA plastics and resins such as plastic water bottles and canned foods.
Do not heat plastic food and beverage containers that may contain BPA as the heating process can cause BPA to leach out.
Filter your water! Not only can you eliminate using bottled water this way, but you can ensure that the water you use every day to drink, cook, clean and bathe is BPA free!
"Studies Report More Harmful Effects From BPA". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
"Significant bisphenol A levels found in canned food". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
Health Canada. "Survey of Bisphenol A in Canned Drink Products". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
Vom Saal FS; et al. (2007). "Chapel Hill bisphenol A expert panel consensus statement: integration of mechanisms, effects in animals and potential to impact human health at current levels of exposure". Reprod Toxicol. 24 (2): 131–8.