We’ve all heard the term “BPA” but what does it actually mean?
BPA, properly known as “bisphenol A” is a chemical compound used in the manufacturing process of certain plastics. It’s colorless and often included in water bottles, canned foods, toiletries, household electrics, and other products.
But if it’s so useful and widely used, then why are there BPA free products? Good question.
BPA may affect your health – it’s a potentially toxic chemical that may produce various side effects related to reproduction, immunity, neurological problems, and even cancer. However, let’s not get into all of the side effects just now.
The remainder of this blog post will discuss more on BPA, what the BPA free alternative is, the side effects of BPA, and ways to limit your exposure.
What is BPA free?
BPA free plastics do not use Bisphenol A in the manufacturing process.
BPA free products are slowly replacing baby bottles, plastic plates, cutlery, food containers, and drink bottles, thanks to the negative side effects of BPA plastics.
So, in summary: BPA free means the chemical BPA was not involved in the manufacturing process. It’s safer, does not contain adverse side effects, and fewer fossil fuels and other toxins are released into the atmosphere during production.
What are the side effects of BPA?
Okay, now that we know what BPA free is, let’s discuss the adverse side effects of BPA.
The more we know, the easier it is to be intentional in NOT using BPA products.
So, side effects of BPA include:
- Negative health effects on the brain
- BPA is associated with an increased risk of cancer
- Heart disease and diabetes
- Weight problems
Keep reading to find out more about each side effect, including how these affect the body and more.
Negative health effects on the brain
Exposure to BPA may increase a mix of emotions, from aggression to anxiety, cognitive deficits, and even learning-memory impairment, as stated by a 2015 study.
While other scientists argue that BPA does not produce as harsh side effects on the brain, as mentioned above, the potential risk, in our opinion, is not worth it.
BPA is associated with an increased risk of cancer
If an effect on the brain wasn’t quite enough for you, then exposure to BPA causing cancer may frighten you.
We hear it time and time again: don’t eat that, it’ll give you cancer.
Well, while you may not be eating BPA, BPA plastics could be in your food if microwaving plastic containers, eating out in restaurants (where food is heated up), or you could be exposed to BPA in another way.
But how does it work? According to one study, BPA can mimic estrogen (and other hormones), interacting with cell receptors to facilitate cancer cell growth. Furthermore, exposure to BPA could also impact chemotherapy treatment for those recovering from cancer.
Heart problems and diabetes
Increased exposure to BPA could increase blood pressure, inadvertently leading to diabetes and heart disease.
Current evidence surrounding this is limited, but what’s out there supports these claims.
But hey, as we say – is it really worth the risk?
Finally, BPA may also lead to weight gain.
BPA can interact with hormones in the body, interfering with all kinds of processes, from fat cell production to insulin levels.
Replacing plastic bottles with BPA free alternatives, avoiding plastic containers for cooking, and limiting your BPA exposure are easy ways to steer clear of the many side effects of the harsh chemical.
BPA free – how to limit your exposure
Choosing BPA free products is the easiest way to limit your exposure to the harsh chemical involved in the production of certain plastics.
But there are also a few other things you can do to limit your exposure, including:
- Purchase whole foods when possible
- Avoid going to restaurants where food is heated up (eat fresh)
- Ensure products have a “non-toxic” label included when purchasing
- Avoid canned foods
- Switch out your water bottle to a BPA free alternative
There are many things you can do – limit your exposure and reduce the potential side effects of BPA.
It’s easy to do, you’ll feel better for it, and you’ll also be doing your part for the environment.
It’s a win, win, right?