What is BPA?
What is BPA?
Many chemicals find their way into plastic through necessity, some additives are present to stop plastic discolouring, deforming and being rendered useless. Many of these chemicals have a negative effect of the human physiology that has only emerged in recent times–Humans and other life are exposed to Carcinogenic, hormone disrupting and toxic chemicals regularly. One such chemical is Bisphenol A (BPA).
BPA is a chemical found in many plastics, including; plastic bottles, water pipes and the coating of many food and beverage cans. It is one of the most highly used chemicals around with millions of tonnes being synthesised every year.
Unfortunately BPA also exhibits a particularly toxic property. Belonging to a class of chemicals known as Xenoestrogens, BPA mimics Estrogen, and therefore exhibits hormone like properties. The significance of this is that an excess of Estrogen in the human body has been linked to a host of reproductive disorders.
Despite concern surrounding Xenostrogens only developing over the last 70 years or so similar Estrogen mimicking chemicals have been present in the environment long before the existence of the human race. Some plants use Estrogen mimicking chemicals as a defence against herbivorous animals, animals consume them and as a result become infertile. Clearly then, this type of chemical should be of concern to us!
Why then has this chemical that humans are so routinely exposed to, with known health implications, been allowed to exist in every day plastic items?
Some health bodies do not believe the levels humans are exposed to as a concern. However, with shocking facts surrounding consumption of plastic in humans and animals becoming increasingly regular–83% of drinking water containing microplastics and 1/3 of all fish humans consume containing microplastics–more concern is clearly warranted.
What can you do?
Unfortunately, some exposure to BPA and similar chemicals is unavoidable, however, there are some simple changes you can make to dramatically reduce your exposure and therefore risk from BPA.
Avoid consumption of food and drink that has come into contact with BPA containing plastics, in-fact avoid plastics all together! Replace your water bottle with a stainless steel water bottle (be sure to check the bottle hasn’t been coated with a BPA containing film), make use of stainless steel food ware and make sure when microwaving food to use a glass container.
We are now at a stage where our relationship with plastic is at a tipping point, it has become so intertwined with our society and our quest for convenience that giving it up isn’t going to be easy. However, with the detrimental cost of this relationship coming to light, such as those highlighted in this blog-post, clearly the time for change is now.
Other issues surrounding plastic–and what we can do in our quest against plastic–will be discussed in future blog posts. So be sure to subscribe to be at the front of the fight against plastic, for our people and our planet.
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