By June 26, 2013 Read More →

Debate on Bisphenol-A: A Suspect Chemical in Plastic Containers

Bisphenol-AGoing green should never be an option; it should be rule. Going green does not only help minimize the ongoing pollution issues in the planet as it also helps us consume cleaner and safer foods. The benefits of this method to our health are endless. Take for instance the physical features of people who eat a lot of fast foods and those who go for green foods. Tyra Banks was a self-proclaimed fast food junkie because she did not have enough time to cook her own food, but she started cooking healthy and green choices when she decided to tone down and become healthy. The result – toned, curvy booty with gorgeous skin. On the one hand, Jennifer Aniston is a self-confessed vegetarian and has been into veggies and organic foods. If you see Jennifer today, you’ll never guess she’s nearing mid 40’s and that her skin stays stunning with or without makeup. What’s in non-green, canned, wrapped, and preserved foods anyway that should make people abhor their presence?

First of all, foods that are being kept in these types of packaging can contain certain amounts of BPA or Bisphenol A, which is one of the chemicals used to produce polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. We all know that plastics like mentioned above are all around us, and these are technically used to produce water bottles, food and drink packages, equipment, medical devices, water supply pipes, and even baby bottles. Geoff Cullen, director of government relations at the Can Manufacturers Institute confirmed that nearly all can liners contain BPA. This goes to show that the majority of our exposure to BPA is linked with the consumption of foods and drinks placed inside plastic containers.

On the one hand, not all bodies of information agree to the idea that BPA is risky. There are a lot of quite influential names in the industry claiming that BPA is totally risk-free, but these claims mostly come from industries that manufacture the products. Of course, citing the glitch in their produce can technically pull them down. Nevertheless, our focus is to find out whether or not BPA is risky or risk-free, and, thus, the great debate about it continues. And, to end it, we have listed the major drawbacks and advantages of the presence of BPA. Don’t you think it is high time that we start weighing its features on our own judgment to come up with a resolution?

There is no doubt that BPA is useful. It is used in the linings inside the wall of the can to separate the food from its container. It is also used to manufacture a plethora of products ranging from food to home supplies. In fact, polycarbonate plastics, which are basically made of BPA, are used to make eyeglass lenses, discs, and safety bottles. In other words, its use in the industry is endless, but its many benefits turned out to be nightmares when studies conducted in 2004 showed that animals with high rate of exposure to BPAs suffered from kidney and liver damages. Most of its babies also had defects, which are never impossible to happen to a human being who has been exposed too much to the chemical BPA. Because of this, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted a research, which provided horrific results. Of the 2000 plus people being examined, 93% of them were exposed to BPA, mostly of which comprise in the younger section. Such rate is quite alarming knowing that BPA can positively kill a person over time.

Bisphenol-A-FreeIt is then in this picture that the drawbacks of BPA come in, especially when scientists further found out that BPA increases the risk to degenerative diseases, obstructs fertility and contributes to childhood behavioral problems. BPA does this by mimicking estrogen, a natural hormone found in our endocrine system and is used as the messaging service throughout all parts of the body. After which, it starts to disrupt normal body development by altering its usual activities, duplicating ways, and blocking or exaggerating hormonal responses. When taken by a mother, this phenomenon can both occur in the mother’s and the fetuses’ development, posing a huge threats the development of the little guy in the womb. Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., a developmental biologist at the University of Missouri, claims that it mostly harms the development of both brain and reproductive systems of the child. It can also do harm to newborn babies when you feed them with infant bottles that’s not BPA-free. Meanwhile, adults are exposed to it mainly from eating packaged foods and from drinking epoxy resin-lined vats into wine. Those who have their teeth sealed can also expect BPA in the process since it’s used to manufacture dental products, too.

Despite the risks of BPA in the human body and its alarming dominance in the market, and other pro-BPA websites are claiming that the product is nowhere dangerous unless you ingest 1,300 pounds of canned and bottled food daily. For that matter, it takes tons of canned goods to consume each day to take the harm of BPA into account. The sites also claim that a regular canned good addict can only consume about 500 pounds of BPA each day. Consequently, the rest of the market, who only eats canned goods once in a while, are not at risk to this harmful chemical. However, the glitch in this claim can be traced to its study back in 1980, which was made on rats that are made to ingest high doses of BPA. Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., a developmental biologist at the University of Missouri, claimed that the study showed it was indeed safe but the subjects had experienced severe reduction of body weight.  Unfortunately, they weren’t able to take into consideration the long term effects of the consumption of BPA, which are manifested with hormone disruption and a myriad of health issues to mice, which even lead to embryonic deaths. Asdie from that, a study in January 2006 indicates that BPA may enhance the risk of developing Type II diabetes as such chemical alters pancreatic cells.

On the contrary, Steven G. Hentges Ph.D., executive director of the Polycarbonate Business Unit at the American Plastics Council, claims that there is no consistent pattern that proves to be characteristics of an estrogenic chemical. A research in October 2002 was made by the Chemical Research in Toxicology also showed that the human discharges and neutralizes BPA faster than a rodent’s body. Furthermore, George Pauli of FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety concluded that BPA contents in food packaging are safe.

The ongoing debate about whether or not to ban Bisphenol-A is still at large as there are certain studies that prove its risks and its safety. However clashing they might be and however profound a study might be, as long as a certain product is not organic, processed chemically, and composed of chemical compounds, that product, for sure, contains substances that can harm our body. Bisphenol-A is a component in most plastic packaging and item, and we all know that plastics are one of the major culprits of the damages of the environment. If these can harm the environment, these may also have the potential to harm our bodies, too. To conclude, don’t wait for the debate to end with detailed results that indeed BPA is harmful. Act now by doing away with the use of plastics. Replacing your items with glass bottles is one of the best ways to minimize your exposure to BPA. Another way is to limit your intake of processed foods. Go green wherever you go and whatever you do.

About the Author:

A senior writer and editor of The Green Guide and a father of 3 kids (1 girl and 2 boys). Rob's special interests include geography, enviroment study and hiking. Rob has traveled to over 100 places in 30 different countries in the past three years. His exotic and fun experiences will be talked in his new book which is going to be published soon.

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