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Information You May Not Have Heard About BPA

Information You May Not Have Heard About BPA

In recent years, many research and news organizations have published reports about the toxicity of Bisphenol A (commonly called BPA). If you’ve kept up on this topic, you know BPA is in many food and beverage containers (including in the lining of metal cans that hold vegetables, soups and beans) and that it’s a potent endocrine disruptor that acts as a hormone in the human body.

In a recent interview published by Yale Environment 360, BPA researcher Frederick vom Saal of the University of Missouri’s Endocrine Disruptor Group provides some no-nonsense information about BPA and harshly criticizes government oversight of this powerful chemical. Here are some quick facts from the interview.

BPA is derived from petroleum. It was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use as a food contact material in 1963. There are more than 100,000 chemicals in commerce, but the U.S. government only has regulatory authority over a percentage of those. In the 1970s, it “grandfathered” in 62,000 chemicals—including BPA—through the Toxic Substances Control Act. That means there is basically no regulatory oversight of this chemical. The Food and Drug Administration came out in 2010 and said it agreed with many researchers that BPA is a concern, but that it doesn’t have the authority to ban or regulate it.

BPA has been linked to early puberty, many types of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, impaired memory, asthma, allergies and low sperm counts. It damages every part of the human reproductive system.

The common rationalization you hear about BPA being in contact with our foods and beverages is that it’s at such a low level, we don’t need to worry. However, vom Saal explained that his team used human breast cancer cells to study estrogen chemicals for their potency, and BPA lit up like a Christmas tree. He says even at extremely low levels, BPA is anything but weak. The chemical industry threatened vom Saal and his research team, asking them not to publish their findings on BPA.

Of studies funded by the chemical industry, 100 percent say that BPA is safe. However, when you look at the entire body of research studies on BPA, 90 percent of non-industry-funded studies find that BPA is harmful to humans.

The clear message I took away from this interview is that we have to protect and educate ourselves and each other. No government agency is going to make sure the products on grocery store shelves are safe. Please pass this information on.

To learn more about BPA, check out the following resources (the first link is the complete interview with vom Saal):

See these related Care2 articles for even more information:

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Read more: Cancer, Conscious Consumer, Food, General Health, Health, Health & Safety, Women's Health, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.


+ add your own
1:34AM PST on Jan 4, 2014

Appalling ! ! !

8:15AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

5:37PM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Thanks! It's disturbing that our government doesn't seem to have any concern for this.

11:53AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

It's a few years now that I have banned canned goods in my shopping. Glass & frozen for us. Thanks for this informative article.

4:27AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Thank you

6:17PM PST on Mar 2, 2012

Thanks for sharing, scares me- especially since I think they are winning the battle. I am finding more and more items I used to buy in glass is now plastic. You would think our government would try harder to remove this threat to our health.

7:12PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

Glass jars and frozen only....

11:04AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Please note that products that are BPA FREE are PP which is just as bad or even worst. A Canadian Lab has put out a report on PP. Also note that PP products are sold for children lunch boxes are coming from China. All Plastics Are Toxic!

4:31PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

This stuff is no joke. Our govt needs to get on the ball & get some priorities straight- the FDA needs to drop it's BS fight against supplements & start working on banning poisons like BPA.

7:16AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Worldwide men are having very low or non existent sperm counts. More and more women are having fertility problems. We are hitting menopause earlier and earlier. Maybe this is how the human race will cease to exist. Solely based on the food we eat.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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