What Is Bisphenol-A, and How Can It Hurt Me?

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Bisphenol-A, also known as BPA, was recently pulled from distribution in baby bottles offered at Wal-Mart and has been suspected of causing serious health problems. Do you know where to find it, and what it is?

Definition of Bisphenol-A

Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is an industrial chemical. It is often used in the production of plastics and has been linked to adverse health effects including cancers and early onset puberty. It is commonly used to produce hard plastics known as polycarbonates, which are found in a range of products, including those made for children.

Environmental groups claim that BPA is linked to damage of the neurological, immune, and reproductive systems, as well as diabetes, obesity, prostate and breast cancers, and early onset puberty.

How Does BPA Affect My Child?

Since Bisphenol-A is used in plastics, it has been found in many baby bottles produced by manufacturers distributing to major stores across the United States. In 2008, Wal-Mart pledged to no longer stock baby bottles containing BPA.

The Food and Drug Administration released a statement in October 2008 claiming that traces of Bisphenol-A are not known to cause health problems. Critics maintain that there is plenty of information that links Bisphenol-A with health problems in laboratory animals exposed to BPA in controlled studies.

Fact
According to a recent study, 95% of all baby bottles are produced using Bisphenol-A.

What Are Current Concerns Regarding BPA?

Bisphenol-A has been phased out by certain leading manufacturers of baby bottles via attorney general pressure. Disney First Years, Dr. Brown, Avent America, Inc, Evenflo, Gerber, and Playtex Products, Inc. all pledged not to produce plastic baby bottles made from polycarbonates, which includes BPA.

However, BPA is present in a great deal of household items, including food that your children may eat. Do you know where?

Tips on How to Minimize Exposure to BPA

If you are worried about the effects of Bisphenol-A, here are some steps that you can take to reduce exposure.

  • Use powdered infant formula rather than ready-to-serve, because liquid formulas were evaluated by the Environmental Working Group and determined to contain higher amounts of Bisphenol-A.
  • Buy your food in glass jars, including tomatoes. Tomato products are more likely to react with the inner lining of cans and thus contain higher amounts of BPA.
  • Stick to fresh or frozen vegetables to prevent BPA from leaking into other foods that you eat with your children.