Published: October 13, 2015

    Why BPAs are bad for you

    You’ve probably heard that BPAs are bad for you, and that they are often found in plastic drinking bottles. For many people, however, that’s all they know about this widespread and potentially harmful chemical.

    What is BPA and Why Do We Use It?

    Bisphenol A, better known as BPA, is used in the creation of hard clear polycarbonate plastics, carbonless and thermal paper, and epoxy resins. A versatile chemical (from the viewpoint of manufacturers at least), BPA can be found in a range of products, including the following items:

    • Baby bottles
    • CDs
    • Dental devices
    • Dental fillings and sealants
    • DVDs
    • Eyeglass lenses
    • Household electronics
    • Sports equipment
    • Water bottles.

    BPAs are also found in epoxy resins coating the interior of canned foods and drinks. The resin prevents container contents from coming into contact with the metal can.

    How Do BPAs Affect Health?

    BPA is an endocrine disrupter, meaning it interferes with the normal function of the body’s natural hormones. This interference can have adverse health effects, especially in children. Most human exposure to BPAs comes from canned goods and clear polycarbonate plastics when the chemical leaches into container contents.

    Acceptable BPA safety levels are set by government agencies, but may still be too high for public health. The U.S.-based Endocrine Society expressed concern over levels of BPA exposure as far back as 2009.

    So just how could BPAs affect your health? That depends, in part, on your age and gender. Young children are most susceptible, as the chemical interferes with hormones needed for growth and development. The list of potential health consequences for adults and children alike is high and includes asthma, issues with brain function (including memory loss and memory problems), breast cancer, hormonal changes in men, depression, heart and cardiovascular disease, liver-enzyme abnormalities, reproductive disorders in women, and type 2 diabetes, and more. A University of Cincinnati study, for instance, indicates BPA can even interfere with the efficiency of chemotherapy treatments.

    How Much BPA Am I Exposed to?

    The answer to this question depends, in large part, on how often you drink from polycarbonate bottles or consume food and drink from metal cans containing the chemical. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the presence of BPA in the urine of 95 percent of adults and 93 percent of children. Another study reported BPA levels can rise by two-thirds if you drink from polycarbonate bottles.

    However, there is some good news to consider: A joint report from the Silent Spring Institute and the Breast Cancer Fund indicates BPA levels fall after just three days on a fresh food diet. So BPA levels are reversible with a little time and effort.

    Avoiding BPA

    You can limit your exposure to BPA by avoiding polycarbonate bottles. Instead, opt for BPA-free bottles such as Pelican’s reusable H2Go Infuser bottle. Not only is the bottle better for your health, it’s better for the environment. Polycarbonate bottles are a major environmental pollutant with the potential to leach BPAs into soil and water.

    Fresh food is always best, of course, but when you have to buy canned food or drinks, look for ones which say they’re BPA-free. Washing plastic containers with harsh detergents or using the dishwasher increases the risk of BPA leaching as does drinking acidic or hot drinks from such containers.

    Disclaimer: The information on this website has not been reviewed by the FDA. Products offered for sale herein are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. No medical claims are being made or implied. Contaminants mentioned are not necessarily in your water.