EU Moves To Restrict Hormone-Disrupting Chemical In Plastics.
What is BPA, and what are the concerns about BPA? BPA stands for bisphenol A. It is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s and is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles. They may also be used in other consumer goods. Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. Some dental sealants and composites also may contain BPA. Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behaviour and prostate gland of foetuses, infants and children. Additional research suggests a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure. The FDA is continuing its review of BPA, including supporting ongoing research. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about BPA, you can take these steps to reduce your exposure:
- Cut back on cans. Reduce your use of canned foods since most cans are lined with BPA-containing resin.
- Use BPA-free products. Manufacturers are creating more and more BPA-free products. Look for products labeled as BPA-free. If a product isn’t labeled, keep in mind that some, but not all, plastics marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
- Avoid heat. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics or putting them in the dishwasher, because the plastic may break down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods. Use alternatives. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers. Credit: Dr. Brent A. Bauer for Mayo Clinic.
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