What is lurking in your plastic?
The National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals (from the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health) define BPA as:
"Bisphenol A (BPA) and 4-teriary-octylphenol (4-t-OP) are industrial chemicals. BPA is used to
make polycarbonate plastics. These plastics are found in many products such as refillable
beverage containers, protective linings in food cans, compact disks, plastic dinnerware, impactresistant safety equipment, and epoxy resins. BPA is also used in the production of materials found in dental composites and sealants. BPA is not found in softer, more flexible products such as single-serving water bottles."
Does it really cause cancer?
"A report from the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) concluded that there was "some concern for neural and behavioural effects in [fetuses], infants, and children at current human exposures" to BPA, which is used extensively in the plastic lining in food cans."
-- From Food Production Daily
Furthermore, in a report published in 2007 by the Enviromental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit environmental research organization, shows that BPA can leach into canned foods at levels reaching 200 times the "acceptable" amount.
In 2006 the European Food Safety Authority formulated some guidelines.
The tolerable daily intake (TDI) level for BPA of 50 micrograms/kg body weight/day - but stressed that current exposure levels were just 30 per cent of the TDI. ( To calculate your own weight in kilograms (kg) take your weight in pounds and divide by 2.2)
Now the pressure is on the USDA to come up with their own set guidelines for exposure.
Currently, scientists continue to debate whether effects could possibly occur in people who are exposed to these chemicals. More research is needed to assess the human health effects of exposure to BPA.
Some BPA stats from NIH and the CDC:
*CDC scientists detected BPA in the urine of nearly 93% of the people tested, a finding
that indicates widespread exposure to BPA in the U.S. population.
* Females had significantly higher levels of BPA in their urine than males. Children had
the highest levels, followed by teens and adults.
*Non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites had higher levels of BPA than Mexican
* People with the lowest household incomes had higher levels of BPA than people in the
highest income bracket.
Suggested links for further reading: