Friday, March 13, 2015

Is BPA Harmful?

Being an industrial chemical to make certain plastics and resins, BPA (bisphenol A) is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages like water bottles. Epoxy resins, on the other hand, are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines.

Studies had shown that high dose of BPA could actually cause a number of health hazards including birth defects, breast and prostate cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, obesity, Type-2 diabetes and developmental disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

A paper published December 8, 2014 by researchers from Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea in the American Heart Association journal ‘Hypertension’ warned that people who drank out of cans lined with resins BPA might have a brief increase in their blood pressure.

However, according to a review by The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released on January 22, 2015, there is apparently no health concern for any age group from dietary exposure or from aggregated exposure. But the report did caution that for some areas like exposure to cash register receipts, more research is required. Cash register receipts are mostly made of thermal paper that is the second largest source of external exposure in all population groups above 3 years old.

Everybody is exposing to some amount of BPA, which is widely used in plastic bottles and containers and in the linings of canned foods to keep them fresh, though many manufacturers have tried to stop using them because of consumer demand.

Small babies appear to get the highest does probably because of their small body sizes but the amount of BPA they are getting would not harm them. While pregnant women are also getting BPA, no sufficient evidence has been found to link any harmful effect to the unborn babies.

The findings are similar to what the United States FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has found. In the fall of 2014, the FDA experts from across the agency, specializing in toxicology, analytical chemistry, endocrinology, epidemiology, and other fields, completed a 4-year review of more than 300 scientific studies. The results of their review did not find any evidence to support the ban of BPA in food packaging. Pharmacokinetic and biomonitoring data continue to suggest that BPA is quickly and efficiently metabolized once ingested and it can be eliminated from the body rapidly.

In the United States, BPA has been removed from many toys, baby bottles and other items that might affect small children.

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