Bisphenol A (BPA) is used as an ingredient in polycarbonate plastic products, such as infant and water bottles, to make them hard and translucent. It is also used in the liners of food cans. Because BPA has been known to disrupt the hormonal system, leading to behavioral and developmental problems and cancer in animals, health advocates have raised concern over the possibility that the chemical could leak from cans or plastic containers into people's food and water. Heat in particular appears to increase the rate at which the chemical leaches out.
More than 90 percent of people over the age of six test positive for BPA in the body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Numerous animal studies have linked BPA to behavioral changes such as ADHD or altered play, and to sex problems such as decreased sperm count, feminization of males, and prostate cancer.
Mel Suffet, a public health professor and environmental chemist from the University of California-Los Angeles, urged consumers to avoid products made with BPA.
"Why use something with a potential danger?" he said.
"It's kind of silly. Better safe than sorry."
"There are alternatives to everything made from BPA."
Parents and caregivers, can make the personal choice to reduce exposures of their infants and children to BPA:
- Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Polycarbonate is strong and durable, but over time it may break down from over use at high temperatures.
- Polycarbonate containers that contain BPA usually have a #7 on the bottom(http://www.recyclenow.org/r_plastics.html)
- Reduce your use of canned foods.
- When possible, opt for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food or liquids.
- Use baby bottles that are BPA free.
Bisphenol A Plastics Chemical is Unsafe at Any Level, Says BPA Researcher
Heat Accelerates Release of Toxic Plastics Chemicals From Baby Bottles, Food Packaging
Research Links Plastics Containing Bisphenol A to Heart Disease and Diabetes