Can You Trust BPA or Its Alternatives?

BPA stands for bisphenol A and it is a chemical that is used to make plastics and can linings (often storing your food and beverages). Some of the most common replacements we are seeing in “BPA-free” products include BPS and BPF.

Over a decade ago research showed that BPA is an endocrine disruptor because it acts like estrogen in the body. It was linked to cancer (breast and prostate), diabetes, obesity, infertility, brain and reproductive problems, and more. In 2012 the FDA banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. Eventually other companies stopped using the chemical and turned to “BPA-free” alternatives instead.

Unfortunately these “BPA-free” products are no safer than the BPA it replaced. A UCLA study found that BPS and BPF had similar effects to that of BPA. This included accelerated embryonic development (leading to premature birth), increased estrogen, thyroid hormones alterations, heart arrhythmias, and more. Sadly companies will continue to use these cheap chemicals until the public demands better options.

Common items with BPA or BPA alternatives

  • Water bottles
  • Cans
  • Plastic dinnerware
  • Toys
  • Cash register receipts
  • Beer kegs
  • Dental sealants and composites
  • Medical devices
  • Contact lenses
  • Water supply pipes

So what can we do to avoid as much BPA/BPS/BPF as possible?

  • Minimize daily exposure by using glass instead of plastic or avoid plastic with the code 3 or 7 (as these contain BPA)
  • Reduce consumption of canned foods and buy fresh ingredients instead
  • Avoid heating plastics in the microwave or dishwasher since heat causes the release of BPA into foods
  • Avoid plastic coffee lids and paper cups because they will release BPA at high temperatures as you drink (paper cups often have a inner lining that contains BPA)
  • Whenever possible, use alternatives to plastic! This includes glass, ceramic, or stainless steel.  Not only is it better for you, but it is better for the environment as well.

Please know that BPA or one of its alternatives may be a trigger for your condition.  Unfortunately most doctors are not looking at environmental triggers as a cause for a disease.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ashley Woyak.