Recently, I came across this acronym, BPA, and thought to myself, “what is BPA?” To my surprise, it turned out to be an industrial chemical I was being exposed to everyday and I didn’t even know! Similar to myself, there are many people in our society who are unaware of the use and exposure of this chemical. Therefore, the purpose of my blog is to familiarize students of Science 300 and our society with what BPA is, its use in industry, and the possible health risks it poses to human health.
Polycarbonate is used in a variety of products because of its unique attributes. It is a light weight, high performance plastic used by industries to make consumer products such as infant bottles.
Epoxy resins are also used in a variety of consumer products, such as paints, because they maintain the quality of the canned product. Many canned foods and beverages have epoxy resins used as liners to maintain food quality.
Over the years, BPA has been one of the most extensively researched chemicals. Safety assessments have concluded that the exposure level to humans “is more than 400 times lower than the safe level of BPA set by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.” Then why is BPA still a topic of debate?
Many people are still worried about BPA exposure because this chemical mimics the hormone estrogen. It is also widely known to be an endocrine disruptor. Research studies have indicated that the tiniest exposures to the chemical can increase risks for cancer and disrupt the hormone system. Other studies have shown high levels of BPA in urine samples of six year old children.
The question which arises now is, “what has the government done to prevent BPA exposure?” According to an article published in New York Times, Canada has banned the use of BPA for infant bottles. Additionally, many industries are making BPA-free products available to people. Nevertheless, the controversy which still remains is whether or not these substituted chemicals are safe?
The video below further discusses this issue:
In conclusion, there is a lot of debate over the topic of BPA exposure to humans as well as its health consequences. Daily news reports are being published on this issue which keep us updated on what the government is doing in regards to using this chemical in the industry. Furthermore, researchers all over the globe are continuously experimenting with BPA on rodents to provide concrete evidence about the health risks it may cause. As for now, to avoid BPA exposure, consumers should avoid using plastic containers which have recycle codes 3 or 7 on them as they may contain BPA as well as not use plastic bottles for hot liquids.