BPA - Bisphenol A
What is BPA?
BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical used in the production of certain plastics and resins to make them strong and resilient. These BPA-strengthened plastics are used for food contact containers, while the resins are used to protect the inner linings of food contact cans to prevent the aluminum/metal from corroding and breaking.
Some of the things that contain BPA include:
- Canned beverages
- Canned foods
- Coffee pot
- Food storage containers
- Lined paper cups
- Plastic wrap
- Plastic utensils
- Thermal paper receipts
- Water bottles
When in doubt, plastics 3 and 7 are typically (though not always) made with BPA.
How does BPA enter our body?
Mainly, through our diet. BPA from containers or cans can leach into our foods and beverages once they come into contact with one another. It can also seep into our bloodstream via skin contact with anything coated with BPA, such as thermal paper receipts or tickets (the glossy ones that leave a mark when we scratch it with our finger nail).
How does BPA affect us?
BPA is a hormone disruptor, which may affect many of our bodily functions.
According to several studies, BPA has been shown to have negative effects on many aspects of male and female fertility.
In other studies, high levels of BPA have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
How to avoid BPA:
- avoid packaged foods
- avoid canned foods and beverages
- avoid heating plastic
- use plastic alternatives for hot foods or beverages (such as glass, porcelain, and stainless steel)
- limit contact with receipts (decline or opt for electronic receipts where possible)
As a reference, what’s better for the environment is always better for our health as well.