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Bisphenol A

Background: Bisphenol A (BPA) was first produced in 1891 and was rediscovered in the 1930s when it was investigated for its estrogenic properties. At about that time another compound was found to have even greater estrogenic properties, diethylstilbestrol (DES), and BPA was not used again until it was discovered it could be added to plastic to create polycarbonate plastic. BPA is now found in a myriad of products – polycarbonate plastics (like those found in some water bottles), epoxy resin linings in cans, plastic food containers, dental fillings and plastic coatings for kids’ teeth.

There are now over 200 studies that have implicated BPA with a variety of health effects:

  • Increased risk of breast & prostate cancer
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Genital abnormalities in male babies
  • Infertility in men & women
  • Early puberty in girls
  • Metabolic disorders such as diabetes & obesity

For more information on the health effects of BPA and how to reduce your exposures go to: Safer Chemicals Healthy Families

The Endocrine Disruptor Exchange (TEDX) has developed an excellent tool that highlights research on low-dose exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals across fetal development. BPA was one of the first chemicals added t this database. Read Critical Windows of Development.

One of the ways that we are learning about how we are exposed to BPA and how ubiquitous exposure is, is through biomonitorring. The CDC has created a fact sheet describing BPA biomonitorring results.

One way we are exposed to BPA is through eating canned foods. Read the report by Environmental Working Group on BPA in canned foods.

In a study released in March 2011, the Breast Cancer Fund found that when families avoided canned foods or those packaged in plastic, families can reduce their BPA levels by up to 60% in just a few days. Read the full study at: BPA in Food Packaging Study

Baby safe bottles