Bisphenol-A (BPA) is the building block of polycarbonate plastic, a hard plastic used to make numerous products, including reusable water bottles, compact discs, beverage containers, auto parts, toys and eyeglasses. It used to be used in most baby bottles, but with significant pressure from moms, manufacturers switched to safer plastics for baby and kid products. Bisphenol-A is also used in epoxy resins, in the plastic lining of some food cans, in some dental sealants, in thermal paper manufacturing and as an additive in other consumer products.
While controversial, many studies have found that once BPA is in our bodies, it imitates our hormones, such as estrogen. Studies have shown that even low-level exposure can lead to reproductive harm, including poor sperm count, early puberty, increased risk of cancer, depression in teenage girls, and obesity. A report from The President’s Cancer Panel in 2010 identified more than 130 studies that have linked BPA to breast cancer, obesity, and other health disorders.
BPA is listed on the Environmental Working Group's list of the Top 12 Endocrine Distruptors. Endocrine disruptors can increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.
Know Your Plastics: No which plastics are most likely to contain BPA. #1 polyethylene terephthalate, #2 High Density Polyethylene, #4 Low Density Polyethylene, #5 Polypropylene are deemed the 'safer' plastics.
Know What Products Contain BPA: It's not just plastic water bottles you have to worry about.
Coming up next week—BPA and its affect on fertility.
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