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What Is Bisphenol A? BPA Plastic Bottle Health Hazards

Updated on May 13, 2014

Why Is BPA Bad?

Bisphenol A is a chemical compound used in the manufacture of several plastic products. Bisphenol A is commonly known as BPA and is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epxoy resins. These compounds are then used in creating a wide variety of products including many food preparation and storage containers as well as bottles. There are significant worries about if it makes for safe baby bottles.

BPA is a dangerous chemical that is known to disrupt the human endocrine systems. Even low-level concentrations can cause reproductive development problems in animals. BPA has also been linked to both cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans. Both medical issues have show an alarming rate of growth in the United States and elsewhere recently.

Why is a chemcial, such as biphenol a, which is known to be dangerous, allowed to be used in the production of food and beverage products?

The answer is complicated, but comes down to two factors. First, proponents claim that even if BPA is dangerous, that BPA does not transfer out of plastic containers in sufficient quantities to cause health problems. Secondly, the FDA, which is mandated to ensure a safe food supply can only ban chemicals AFTER they have been proven to cause health problems. This is in contrast to the government agency's mandate in approving prescription drugs where the chemcials must be shown to be safe BEFORE they can be marketed and sold.

What Products Contain Bisphenol A?

What products contain bisphenol a is sometimes difficult to determine since manufacturers are not required to label their products in any way, and are under no obligation to disclose whether or not plastic bottles or anything else contains BPA.

Some information can be gleaned from plastics labeled with a recycling code. Certain recycling codes mean that BPA may be present in the item. Bottles, plates, bowls, and anything else labeled with either a 3 or 7 recycle code may contain BPA.

Items labeled with a 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6 recycling code do not contain bisphenol a.

Additionally, bottles labeled BPA Free must not contain bisphenol a. Otherwise the company could be subject to numerous lawsuits and liabilities including fraud.

BPA Baby Bottles Dangerous Hazard

One of the most concerning aspects of BPA usage is it use in baby bottles. Baby bottles with BPA could possibly lead to the introduction of bisphenol a into a baby's system. Very small amounts of chemicals can cause dramatic health problems in babies at levels far below the amount necessary to cause health issues in adults.

This is why decades ago, before big corporations hooked politicians on big money donations, anything having to do with infants was required to be of the highest safety standards. That is why baby food continued to come only in glass jars long after all other food began being packaged in plastic.

Fortunately, many corporations care more about harming our children than they do about their quarterly earnings reports. Thus, it is relatively simple to find many BPA free baby bottles without having to resort to exotic or expensive brands. Just look for a prominent label on the packaging that says "BPA Free."

Remember, manufacturers are under no obligation to disclose that their baby bottles contain BPA, so the only way to be safe is to insist that any baby bottle you use says BPA Free on the package.

Unfortunately, this does mean that if you have baby bottles from a few years ago, it is advisable to throw them away or recycle them instead of using them for a newborn baby, infant, or toddler.

Medical research sponsored by the NIH is being funded now.


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    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Thank you for this post. I was thinking about writing a hub about BPA, but you’ve covered most points already. Here in Europe the EU recently banned BPA in baby bottles.