Today, we use plastics in almost all aspects of our lives. It is not surprising since plastics are lightweight, sturdy, and lasts a long time.
Yet, according to researchers, having plenty of plastics around can cause serious health problems. Also, the chemical bisphenol A, commonly found in the products we use, is something to be cautious of.
In this article, we will discuss what BPA is and what are its effects on the body. We will also introduce tips on how to minimize the impact of BPA on our health.
Understanding What Is BPA
The acronym BPA stands for Bisphenol-A. It was created by a Russian chemist during the year 1891. In the 1930s, BPA was found to be a chemical that can simulate the functions of the hormone estrogen in humans.
Moreover, the 1950s became the year when BPA made its way into the industry. It became a major factor in the production of plastics all over the globe.
It is a chemical used to harden plastics and make plastic resins, keeping metal from breaking and corroding. BPA is found in epoxy resins for food and baby formula, polycarbonate drinking bottles, hard plastic baby bottles, and infant glasses. Studies show that BPA can mix into foods or beverages from containers made with BPA.
For the most part, these are hard, clear plastic bottles with a reusing code "7" inside the triangle.
Since 2009, most baby bottles made in the U.S. have NOT contained BPA.
It is also used in some medicinal equipment, dental sealants, smaller plates, and warm paper (used in certain sales receipts, fax paper, and lottery tickets).
To sum up, below are the common products that may contain BPA:
- Canned foods
- CDs and DVDs
- Dental filling sealants
- Eyeglass lenses
- Feminine hygiene products
- Household electronics
- Items packaged in plastic containers
- Thermal printer receipts
- Sports equipment
Numerous BPA-items must take over BPA with bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF).
Yet, even little concentrations of BPS and BPF may upset the capacity of your cells in a path like BPA. In this way, without BPA-free bottles may not be a satisfactory result.
Plastic items labeled with the recycling numbers 3 and 7 or the letters "PC" likely contain BPA, BPS, or BPF.
How Can It Enter Your Body?
BPA is known as an endocrine disruptor. It can imitate the hormone of the body and hinder its production, transport, and secretion. It copies how the hormones behave, such as the estrogen.
According to studies, pregnant moms and children are susceptible to BPA.
BPA is mostly found in water bottles and became a serious issue, especially in water bottle industries. DrinkMore Water president, Bob Perini, decided to remove polycarbonate bottles from their portfolio.
They substituted their products into PET bottles with ZERO BPA. It is a tough and expensive decision because it costs more than $1 million. Nonetheless, it was a brave and wise decision to promote health and wellness for the consumers.
Dangers Of BPA
The controversy about the danger and safeness of BPA has been long discussed and is still being debated as we speak. Some agencies and companies say it safe for numerous reasons.
On the other hand, many rebut by showing different facts and figures that can be detrimental to one's health.
A lot of research was conducted to figure out the real deal about the chemical BPA. Although, even if we try to convince ourselves and people that it is useful and safe, the effects on one's health are inevitable.
The effects of BPA on our health are hazardous. It causes several health problems to occur, especially if the person is exposed often to it.
Health problems such as cancer, diabetes, and congenital disabilities are some of the most common causes. It can also damage our respiratory system and kidneys.
Here is a list of the most common health risks of being too exposed to BPA.
Breast and Prostate Cancer
Experts believe that excessive exposure to BPA can increase cancer risk in the prostate, breast, and other parts of the body.
Furthermore, it is stated in the study that fetal exposure to BPA can cause long-lasting effects on the body organs. This is especially true for babies who can potentially lead to hormone-related cancers as they grow up.
Medical professionals found out that BPA can hamper the effectiveness of chemotherapy during cancer treatment.
Studies found out that even low-dose exposure to BPA is linked to cardiovascular problems. Examples of these are coronary heart disease, heart attack, angina, and peripheral artery disease.
BPA from the plastic can trigger atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, and changes in blood pressure.
A French study done in 2013 found out that low yet daily exposure to BPA can cause tooth enamel damage. Although the study needs more research, they have found out that the white marks and brittle enamel on teeth of the 18 children can be signs of BPA overexposure at an early age.
In 2013, the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute scientists evaluated the BPA levels in the urine of the 1,326 children in Shanghai.
They have found out that girls who have higher BPA levels in their system were twice as obese as the average children in their place.
A paper published in the Acta Diabetologica stated that people with high BPA levels in their urine are linked with a pre-diabetes condition. Meanwhile, this is independent of the risk factors of traditional diabetes.
Interestingly, the study states that BPA can affect glucose metabolism through resistance to insulin, adipogenesis, oxidative stress, and inflammation regardless of the level of diet and fitness.
Reproductive Disorders In Both Men And Women
Women Reproductive Disorder
It is impossible to avoid contact with BPA in today's generation because it is available almost anywhere. Most of the food items today are packed using BPA materials. Also, BPA is an environmental contaminant.
The Brigham and Women’s Hospital scientists published a study in 2013 wherein it shows that BPA exposure can affect the maturation of eggs in women.
Also, in 2015, another study was conducted which states that BPA can hamper how the endocrine functions. Such includes the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. It suggests that BPA disruption can affect ovulation and puberty. In the long run, it can even lead to infertility.
In a study published by the Jilin Medical College of China in 2013, it has been found that long-term exposure of women to BPA can cause endocrine disorders. Then, it is followed by functional and morphological changes in the vagina, uterus, oviducts, and ovary. Indeed, this is known to cause fertility issues.
In another study done by the University of California in San Francisco, they have discovered that BPA exposure of female patients can interfere with the oocyte. Furthermore, the health of the oocyte was diminished during IVF. As such, proper implantation and conception can be disrupted.
Men Infertility Caused By BPA
The researchers at the University of Buea in Cameron have studied the effects of BPA in infertility. They have found out different results regarding the reproductive health of men.
First, BPA can influence male impotence. Massive exposure of men to BPA may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. There can also be problems with ejaculation and sexual desire.
Second, BPA can affect the balance of the hormone. In adults, this chemical can affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. It can alter the hormones which are known to cause sperm dysfunction.
It can also prompt oxidative stress in the epididymis and testis. As such, it can suggest antioxidant supplementation, which in turn could offset BPA-induced side effects.
Third, Men who are often exposed to BPA can be more susceptible to develop urinary problems and abnormal semen parameters.
Babies At The Womb Is At Risk Of Diseases
Babies in the womb are at high risk of adapting to the negative effects of the BPA. They are at the critical stage of embryo development. It can prevent the proper development of the embryo's thyroid.
BPA can produce various defects in babies. Examples of these are the feminization of the male fetus, increased prostate size, atrophy of the testes, disruption of BTB, and shortening of AGD. It also includes the alteration of the adult sperm parameters like sperm density, count, and motility.
Finally, according to experts, the adverse health effects of BPA can be transgenerational.
Fetal Brain Development
When pregnant moms are exposed to large doses of BPA, their babies’ brain development could be affected. This is especially true during gestation.
Some of the impacts in the developmental stage include DNA modification, interference with the regulation of estrogen, and anxiety after birth.
Similarly, in a study published in 2016, it has been found out that early exposure to BPA can result in a higher risk of developing respiratory problems. Examples of these are asthma and pneumonia.
Type 2 Diabetes And Impact Body Weight
Even low-level exposure to BPA can contribute to insulin resistance. In the long run, it can cause type 2 diabetes. Studies found out that BPA can impact body weight.
Vitamin D Drain
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to various health problems of both adults and children today. Some of these illnesses are weight gain, heart disease, arthritis, insomnia, and even cancer.
In a study conducted in September 2016, it has been found out that exposure to BPA can lower Vitamin D levels.
Apart from BPA, phthalates, which can be found in vinyl and fake fragrances, can disrupt the hormone and lower Vitamin D levels.
Furthermore, experts agree that hormone disruptors can mess with the active form of Vitamin D in the body, just as it disrupts the thyroid's normal functioning.
Meanwhile, if you're worried about BPA, you can follow these simple steps to lessen its exposure to your body:
Tips To Lessen Exposure From BPA
1. Use BPA-Free Products
Manufacturing companies create hundreds of thousands of BPA-free products. The next time you buy products, make sure to be keen and look for the label 'BPA-free.' If you can't see the label on the product, do not panic. Take note that some plastics marked with recycling codes 3 or 7 indicates products made with BPA.
2. Cut Back On Cans
Since most cans are made with BPA-containing resins, there is one solution to do. Lessen the use and consumption of canned foods. Most importantly, cook from raw and scratch to ensure much more healthy meals.
3. Avoid Heat
Advice from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, part of the National Institute of Health, avoids microwaving polycarbonate plastics.
Furthermore, putting them in dishwashers is also a big no since plastics may break down over time and allow BPA to seep into food and beverages.
4. Use Alternatives
We have to be mindful of everything that we do, especially our health. Instead of using plastic containers for hot food and beverages, substitute them with something more "healthy."
You can use porcelain, stainless steel, and glass containers to avoid BPA is leaching into your foods.
Some of the preventive methods here mostly require a lifestyle change. That is a huge decision to make and requires a lot of effort and time. Especially if you are the person who grabs breakfast with canned food, why eliminate that part of your life? You can opt to retain or minimize the use of. However, there is one option that can guarantee you the lifestyle you still want.
5. Sports Berkey Water Filtration System
Sports Berkey water filtration system and all Berkey systems with Black Berkey Elements eliminate 99.9% of unpleasant taste and odor, unwanted chemicals, sediments, salts, and chlorine. This water filtration system is designed to diminish heavy metals, toxic chemicals, detergents, pesticides, petroleum-based products, VOCs (Volatile organic compounds), chlorides, and trihalomethanes. Most importantly, this product is made from BPA-free materials.
Instant Elimination Of The BPA In Water Bottles
The Berkey water filtration system instantly removes BPA and other unwanted chemicals in water bottles. This water filter utilizes the Ionic Adsorption Micro Filtration.
The "Tortuous Path" arrangement gives unique characteristics to the Sports Berkey Water Filter. It offers a practical and portable filtration system with the use of medical-grade technology.