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What Is BPA and What Does It Mean For My Health?

Updated on June 13, 2014

Published on January 29, 2014. Mary McShane, All Rights Reserved

Recycling codes contains BPA

Several recycling codes cite BPA
Several recycling codes cite BPA
check what containers are affected
check what containers are affected
catch all category
catch all category

What is BPA?

BPA stands for Bisphenol A and it is found in nearly every product we use - from food and drink packaging all the way to the pipes that bring water into our houses.

The way BPA gets into our bodies is usually through our foods. It leaches into food that is stored in polycarbonate storage containers, drinking bottles, baby bottles and canned goods. BPA does not have to be heated in a container to be released into the contents of the container. It is also found in breast milk.

BPA is usually not stored in the body unless one's diet is solely concentrated on food stored in BPA containers. It takes an average of three days for BPA to work itself out of the body when exposure to BPA is stopped.

Since polycarbonate is strong, if you microwave food in plastic containers, it may break down from use at high temperaturees. Refer to the recycling code on the bottom of the container. Codes 3 and 7 may contain BPA.

You can cut down your exposure to BPA by limiting your use of canned goods and by choosing to use glass, stainless steel or porcelain containers for hot foods and liquids.

This first video explains what BPA is and how we come into contact with it in our daily lives.

BPA in kitchenware and storage containers

This next video gives alternatives to using plasticware in your kitchen.

BPA in canned goods

This next video explores the lining of canned goods. There are no labels telling you which products have BPA linings. So if you can buy fresh, do it.

BPA can leach at room temperature

BPA has number 7 recycling symbol

This next video discusses health issues associated with BPA. Bisphenol A imitates the female hormone estrogen causing fertility problems and cancers of the prostate and breast.

It is also found in plastic dental sealants, canned goods, soft drink bottles and plastic food containers.

Canada says BPA is toxic

In Canada BPA has been declared a toxic substance. The European Union and at least seven states have restricted its use but did not ban it.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has listed PBA as a chemical of concern.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there is some concern about the effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. This 2013 FDA report for consumers lists the potential dangers of BPA and how to make changes in your lifestyle to limit your exposure to it.

Regulating BPA?

BPA and disease

This video discusses the many diseases and illnesses that are associated with BPA, and gives a list harmful containers that we don't even think about which contain BPA. Also discusses how eating fresh means a big improvement in BPA levels in the body.

Eating fresh foods = 60% less BPA in 3 days

How to avoid BPA in your daily life.

This video also discusses places you find BPA - even your receipt from the store has BPA! Here is a site offering more advice in avoiding BPA in your environment.

How to avoid BPA

I hope this video hub has helped you to learn more about BPA, how to recognize containers carrying BPA and how to choose your food containers that do not have BPA.

© Mary McShane

© 2014 Mary McShane

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  • The Examiner-1 profile image

    The Examiner-1 3 years ago

    Mary,

    The only canned goods which I use are salmon and tuna, approximately 1 can of each per week. The only heated foods are frozen vegetables which go from pot to container to fridge.

    I do not have a microwave or use a dishwasher.

    I store cold foods in plastic containers :-(

    I thought it was something like that when the video played in the second Hub.

    Kevin

  • mecheshier profile image

    mecheshier 3 years ago

    Absolutely Mary. Ditto! Thanks, it is an honor to have you following me. :-)

  • Mary McShane profile image
    Author

    Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @ mecheshier

    It is nice to see a new face following me. Thank you for your comment and for following. I checked out some of your hubs and when I have time, I will be reading more. I am also now follow you so when you publish new, I'll get notification so I can check them out too. Thank you.

  • Mary McShane profile image
    Author

    Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @The Examiner-1

    Hi Kevin, I'm slowly but surely getting to all my topics of interest to write on them....oh so many, and oh so little time in the day.

    @ your hot foods, if you can help it, store them in anything but plasticware. Safe cooking authorities say to refrigerate immediately after cooking in heat-safe containers and not let foods cool to room temperature. So don't worry about finding containers to put HOT foods into after you cook them - use regular dishes/bowls/corningware and you can reheat in the same containers.

    @ the video not working, I just checked them all and all worked fine. Perhaps this page just needed to be refreshed due to video overload when readers play one video directly after the other.

    @ receipts. If you don't need a receipt, skip it. If you do want one, tell the cashier to put it in your purchase bag. By the time you get home, it will be dry enough to touch, unless you have wet hands. BPA is used as the color developer used for the printing dye. The receipts have a thermal-sensitive layer that, when heated, produces color.

    You can read more about it here:

    http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/avoid-bpa...

    Here is a project being conducted in Minnesota to ask businesses to voluntarily reduce the amount of thermal receipt papers they use. It is an interesting project running thru to September 2014. Here's the link to read about it:

    http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/topics/preven...

    and by the way, BPA is on lottery tickets too!

    check it out here:

    http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/check-yo...

    and if anyone reading this is changing wet pants or diapers (babies, little children, incontinent adults and seniors you might be caregivers to, gloving up might be a good idea. Baby urine is loaded with BPA. Here's a January 2014 report on it:

    http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mp...

    We can't get away from BPA - it is everywhere. But we can limit our exposure to it by changing the way we do things, the products we use, and how we use them.

    Thank you for your comment.

  • mecheshier profile image

    mecheshier 3 years ago

    Fabulous Hub! There is some great information here that I am sure will be beneficial to many. Thanks for the great right-up. Voted up for useful and awesome.

  • The Examiner-1 profile image

    The Examiner-1 3 years ago

    Mary,

    I just came across the BPA Hub again and tried that video in this one. The sound played. I do not know why there was no sound in the first one.

    Kevin

  • The Examiner-1 profile image

    The Examiner-1 3 years ago

    I was wondering when, or if, you would get to this Mary. I have been trying to replace the containers to place my hot foods into after I cook them - but I had not found out the other information about BPA before I read this. Now I have more to watch for. The only thing which I am wondering about are the receipts. I cannot control them. I am wondering if it is the paper or the ink - or something else.

    Kevin

    By the way, when watched the last video by Howcast.com - How to Avoid BPA (What BPA is and How to Avoid it), I heard nothing. I immediately checked the sound and it was all of the way up and it was not muted. I also played it a second time.

  • Mary McShane profile image
    Author

    Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @billybuc

    Not only with BPA, but in many products and habits we have picked up in the use of those products, we are being poisoned at every turn. Most of the time we are unaware because we were never told about the dangers in the first place.

    I think a lot of people are willing to put up with it for convenience sake so their everyday lives do not have to be suffer more change, a word that is anathema in many homes. The status quo works quite nicely for them and what they don't know won't hurt them.

    By reading articles like this one, pro-active consumers can change some of their bad habits, which will hopefully cut down their exposure.

    Thank you for your comment. :)

  • Mary McShane profile image
    Author

    Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @Jodah

    John, I'm glad to be able to post information that others may not have already known about to bring awareness, especially since it is so important to one's health.

    BPA is one of those things we can do nothing to rid the world of, since it dwells in almost every product we use in our lives, so the next best thing is to bring awareness .

    Thank you for your comment and vote up.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Such important information, Mary. We are being poisoned daily and we don't even realize it. Hopefully this article will raise awareness.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

    Wow, thanks for sharing this Mary. I had never heard of BPA, it's a real health worry. I just went around checking any water bottles we have. Luckily they don't have a number 7 on them so should be ok. But I'll make sure what I put in a microwave is safe and try to buy food fresh or in bottles wherever possible. Voted up. Very informative videos.