BPA or Bisphenol A is an organic compound used to make polycarbonate plastics (clear, shatter proof plastics) and epoxy resins (glues and coatings). This compound has the same properties and mimics the effects of the female hormone estrogen. Ongoing research has raised concerns about the safety of this compound, particularly for infants and young children. This research has shown that BPA has a negative effect on fetal and infant brain development and behavior. Due to this concern many plastic products are now labeled as BPA Free. So what does BPA free mean? Read this article to learn more.
What does BPA Free mean?
A product that is BPA free is one which does not use the organic compound Bisphenol A in its construction. In the past many plastic products such as baby bottles, plastic plates and cutlery, storage containers and drink bottles have been made using BPA. BPA is a main component in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It is often used to coat the inside of aluminum tins.
Infants and young children were shown to have the highest level of BPA exposure due to bottles and sippy cups being made from BPA plastics. When bottles and cups are washed, sterilized in hot water, or heated, small amounts of BPA leach out of the plastics. Links have also been made between BPA consumption and obesity. A study by the Yale School of Medicine in 2008 found a connection between BPA and the interference with the brains cells related to memory, mood and learning. Many other studies have been undertaken and have produced links between BPA and cancer, thyroid dysfunction, reproductive issues and attention deficits.
Due to this extensive research many products are now being manufactured without the substance. Makers of baby products are now selling BPA free products. As consumer awareness increases so too will the number of products that are BPA free.
Did you know?
Recently, Canadian authorities declared BPA to be a toxic substance and banned it from use in plastic products in their country.