What is BPA?
BPA is a chemical that is commonly used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, which is used in many products such as electronic equipment, medical devices, automobiles and protective sports equipment. The main concern of parents had to do with the use of BPA in food and beverage containers, especially baby bottles, sippy cups, and baby formula cans. Major manufacturers of infant products have since eliminated the use of BPA in these products, but BPA is still used in other commonly used products.
Health Risks of BPA
For over 40 years, BPA has been studied and researched for its safety in consumer products, yet there is still no definitive answer as to how this chemical effect people. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated that human exposure to BPA is safe at low levels, but the FDA still has concerns over BPA’s effects on humans because most of the research has been conducted on animals. The FDA has several areas of concern regarding BPA.
- BPA may disrupt normal hormone levels in fetuses, infants, and children.
- BPA may affect the brain and cause behavior problems in children.
- BPA may increase the risk of cancer and heart problems.
Infants and children may be more susceptible to the possible harmful effects of BPA because their bodies are still developing.
Nothing has been established regarding the health risks of BPA, yet several states have restricted or banned the sale of products that use BPA. Concerned parents can take certain precautions such as:
- Purchasing and using BPA-free products
- Eating less canned foods
- Throwing out damaged food and beverage plastic containers
Eliminating BPA exposure is impossible, but it is possible to limit being exposed to this chemical by finding BPA alternatives.