Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, is an industrial chemical that has been used in the production of certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, commonly used in various consumer products such as water bottles, food cans, and bottle tops. However, recent research has suggested that BPA may have potential health risks, leading many manufacturers to stop using it or provide BPA-free options.
The potential health risks of BPA stem from its ability to mimic the hormone estrogen in the body. Studies have shown that exposure to BPA can potentially lead to a variety of health problems, including reproductive and developmental issues, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. These concerns have led to a growing demand for BPA-free products and increased regulations on the chemical.
One way to identify whether a product contains BPA is by looking for the recycling code, also known as the resin identification code, which is a triangle symbol with a number inside. The number inside the triangle tells you what type of plastic the container is made from. The recycling code system has numbers ranging from 1 to 7; each number corresponds to a specific type of plastic:
PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
LDPE (low-density polyethylene)
Other (including miscellaneous types of plastic such as polycarbonate, which may contain BPA)
It is important to note that not all plastic containers have recycling codes, and some items labeled as "BPA-free" may still contain other types of hormone-disrupting chemicals. In order to avoid exposure to BPA, it is best to limit the use of plastic containers and opt for glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free alternatives when possible. Additionally, it is essential to properly recycle plastic products and properly dispose of any plastic products that may contain BPA.
BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used in the production of certain plastics and resins. However, recent research has suggested that BPA may have potential health risks. To avoid exposure to BPA, it is best to limit the use of plastic containers and opt for glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free alternatives when possible. Additionally, it is essential to properly recycle plastic products and dispose of any plastic products containing BPA. The recycling code system can be used to identify the type of plastic used in a container, but there are more reliable ways to know if a product contains BPA.
[The enclosed YouTube video is made by Jarin Taslem Mourosi, a Ph.D. Student in Biology at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC]