What is BPA and Why You Should Be Concerned

Bisphenol A (abbreviated BPA) is an organic compound with the formula (CH3)2C(C6H4OH)2. Bisphenol A, commonly used in plastics and polyesters, has become controversial because it mimics estrogen and thus could induce unhealthy hormonal responses.

Bisphenol A’s most popular use is in Polycarbonate plastic, which is clear and nearly shatter-proof. It is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical devices, CDs, and household electronics.

Studies show that bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor: it is an estrogen receptor agonist, which means the agonists can act like the body’s own hormones, leading to similar physiological effects on the body. A long term low dose exposure to bisphenol A may induce chronic toxicity in humans, and recent studies suggest it may also be linked to carcinogenic effects and produce precursors of breast cancer.

In 2007, a consensus statement by 38 experts on bisphenol A concluded that average levels in people are above those that cause harm to animals in laboratory experiments, and a panel convened by the U.S. National Institutes of Health determined that there was “some concern” about BPA’s effects on fetal and infant brain development and behavior.

What can you do to protect yourself from BPA?

1. Do not heat food or liquid in plastic, or store hot food or liquid in plastic containers – When such plastics are exposed to hot liquids, bisphenol A leaches out 55 times faster than it does under normal conditions, at up to 32 ng/hour.

2. Do not use regular plastic baby bottles. Looks for glass (yes, they’re back) or BPA- free baby bottles AND nipples. For online companies that sell BPA-free baby products, please visit the Kid’s section at Happyhippie.com

3. Drink water from glass, or a BPA-free tested bottle.