BPA Raising Concerns
Are plastics dangerous? If you look around, you will easily find plastics in your kitchenware, disposable bottles, toys, television casing, and more. Plastics can make your life easier, but could they be making you ill? Right now the answer is unclear, but some precautions can be taken.
Certain plastics are made with a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). The chemical helps plastic, particularly polycarbonate plastics, be lightweight but tough and able to withstand high heat and electrical resistance. These types of plastics may be used in baby bottles, hard water bottles, compact discs, dental sealants, and food containers. BPA is also used in epoxy resin, which is used as a protective liner in canned foods. Because of its widespread use, many have begun to question if BPA exposure is safe.
Some animal studies have shown that BPA may have a hormone-like effect in the body. BPA exposure in pregnant animals was found to have some negative effects on fetuses. Babies born to these animals also developed problems after exposure to BPA. In particular, changes occurred in:
- Thyroid function
- Brain growth
- Behavioral development
- Development of the pituitary gland
It is not clear if BPA exposure would cause the same changes in humans or if humans consume as much BPA as the lab animals were exposed to.
Last reviewedOctober 2013by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.