You might see BPA a lot when shopping for anything plastic, this also includes plastic water bottles. Plastic is a big concern when it comes to ecological issues, as it can cause havoc in the environment, especially in the ocean. Disposing of plastic has never been as bad as it is now and this is due to it being used in a lot of products.
Many people are not aware of the health issues BPA plastics hold, and recent media attention has made producers consider changing over to BPA free plastics.
What is BPA
BPA also known as Bisphenol is added to plastics to make it durable, this synthetic compound is used in a wide variety of commercial products. BPA is located within the structure of polycarbonate plastics and in most instances presents no threat. However, when containers or bottles that use polycarbonates are heated, the structure breaks down slightly, allowing some BPA molecules to be released. This is where the danger lies as most plastics are heated to be moulded.
The Health Risks
If you eat or drink out of a container that is made from BPA, then you run the risk of consuming BPA molecules. These molecules can leach out into food and drink without you realising. At small levels, BPA consumption will not harm or impact anyone. But let's say you’ve been using BPA plastic without knowing frequently, then the risks could be quite worrying.
Pregnant women should be especially careful of their BPA consumption as prenatal exposure to this substance has shown a trend of higher mental health risks in children and cases of hormonal imbalance.
Furthermore, it is believed that BPA can affect the cognitive skills of those exposed to it, as research on animals has shown that a small dose can impact on memory and the ability to carry out basic tasks.
Fairly worrying outcomes, but it gets worse. High blood pressure and diabetes are also attributes of BPA. Research has shown a majority of people who had higher levels of BPA in their urine, had a higher risk of hypertension and cardiovascular illness. Those who carried out BPA free lifestyles had a typically healthier blood pressure level.
Unfortunately, cancer is a very big risk when it comes to Bisphenol. Most commonly it has been associated with higher risks of breast cancer, but more recent research has also shown a developing trend with prostate cancer too. Stay away from BPA if you have an increased risk with any of these conditions.
Check Before You Buy
Thankfully, there are many more regulations in place on the production of plastics than there used to be, but be sure to still check for a BPA free label usually on the bottom of a product. Check your children’s toys, especially young children who tend to put objects in their mouths, check your plastic containers you use to store food in and check any water bottles you have at home. A simple check could save you the risk of any of the above health issues.