Ever picked up a product that had a any kind of "BPA free" logo and wondered what it meant? Let us explain the buzz on BPA.
We all know plastic is an environmental catastrophic disaster, but how does plastic affect our personal health? Plastic is petroleum based and has some super nasties including BPA (bisphenol A) in it. BPA is a chemical which is used to harden the plastics and is a toxin found in an array of everyday items including food containers, printer receipts, feminine hygiene products and so much more. And these nasty toxins find their way into our body and food chain. How? When a plastic packet is produced which contains BPA, it doesn’t “seal” all the chemicals in, and instead a small amount of these toxins can bleed into our food….which we then ingest…..or wrap in new plastic wrap to save for eating later! BPA is also used as an epoxy resin as a protective lining in canned food and beverages.
BPA is said to mimic the structure and function of estrogen, which means that when our bodies absorb it, cells attach to it and can lead to a disruption in our hormonal balance. Some experts suggest the negative impacts of our bodies reacting to BPA include increased risk of brain and behavioural problems, infertility, cancer and diabetes. There’s also an increased risk of BPA effects on infants as their bodies are still developing – so much so that many countries now ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups which were a huge culprit of BPA plastics.
Evidence and studies suggest BPA causes heaps of health problems, and since the great scientific minds have brought this to light and educated consumers, plastic producing companies have now started removing the BPA nasties from their plastic products (hence the logo BPA free you may have started to see!) But don’t be fooled, just because it says BPA free doesn’t mean it’s fixed the problem. BPS (bisphenol-S) and BSF (bisphenol-F) are similar compounds which have merely replaced BPA and allowed the same “quality” of plastic manufacturing. Unfortunately it’s estimated more than 90% of us have BPA in our bodies, and eradicating it from our lives completely, is a hard challenge given how many products exist in market with this, but health officials recommend avoiding BPA products where possible.
There are lots of eco-friendly alternatives to removing the need for plastic and therefore the assosciate chemicals from your life. Whether it’s switching to a stainless steel bottle, or wrapping your food in beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap, or even purchasing more fresh produce at the market rather than pre-made and canned goods. Not only will you be supporting the reduction of landfill waste of plastic products and protecting the earth, you’ll also be taking an empowered step to control what toxins affect your health and wellbeing.
BPA is not ok. Up your eco.