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About Bisphenol A (bpa)

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What is Bisphenol A (BPA)?

Bisphenpl A, also known as BPA is a chemical compound commonly used in making polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are lightweight, durable, flexible, and have a high heat resistance. Many consumer products are made with polycarbonate plastics. Epoxy resin is a thermosetting polymer used for general adhesions and protective coatings (1).  BPA can leech from packaging products like water bottles especially as they age and break down. Subsequently, BPA is ingested by people and recent studies have shown this chemical to be a hormone disruptor and may lead to breast and/or prostate cancer.

What are some sources of BPA?

Polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins containing BPA can be found in products such as drinking containers, plastic storage containers and cutlery, food and drink cans, bottle tops, dental sealants, water pipes and eye glass lenses. Polycarbonate can be blended with other plastics to create parts for vehicles, electronic equipment, medical  and safety equipment.

How do I reduce my exposure to BPA?

  • Avoid plastic containers that may contain BPA.
  • Avoid plastics that may be cracked or cloudy.
  • Choose milk, soup, and soy products packaged in cardboard cartons.
  • Use glass ware for storage and reheating food.
  • Wash polycarbonate materials by hand to avoid degradation of plastic in hot dishwashers.
  • Avoid canned products from companies using BPA.

1. Environmental Defence, Canada - http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/toxicnation/resources/glossary.htm

2. Picture from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, http://www.healthobservatory.org/library.cfm?RefID=77083, Accessed September 2009.