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Is BPA-Free Plastic Safe?

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Is BPA-Free Plastic Safe?

Is there BPA in your plastic? The answer isn’t as simple as companies want you to think.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is as bad for our health as it is ubiquitous. BPA is a hormone disruptor and studies have linked it to all sorts of other health issues from digestive problems to poor brain development. What makes BPA extra frustrating is how hard it is to avoid. If it were just in certain types of plastic, it would be much easier, but BPA is common in receipts, can linings, and a slough of other products where you wouldn’t expect to find it.

Since the truth about BPA has come out, consumers have demanded BPA-free products, and companies have listened. Plastic water bottles and food and drink packaging proudly bear the “BPA Free” sticker. Some places here in the US are even banning BPA in products like plastic baby bottles. This makes it easy for us to choose BPA-free products, right? Well..yes and no.

BPS: A Sister Chemical

The thing that makes BPA appealing for plastic-makers is that, health concerns aside, it’s pretty darn useful. BPA is a plasticizer, which makes it a useful part of the plastic in can linings and in certain types of plastics, and it works well as a color developer for inkless papers, like carbon copy paper and the thermal paper that we use to print receipts. Manufacturers can’t just take BPA out of products. They have to replace it with something, and the something that many manufacturers have chosen is BPS, a “sister chemical” to BPA.

BPS shares many of BPA’s beneficial properties, but unfortunately it has another property in common with BPA: it also mimics estrogen, which means it probably is just as unhealthy for us as the BPA it’s replacing. Of course, not all BPA free products contain BPS, but the trouble is that there’s no way to know which ones to avoid.

The best way to keep BPA and BPS out of your life is to skip products that could contain either. On the next page, check out 5 ways to avoid BPA and BPS.

Next>> How to Avoid BPA and BPS

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


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6:31AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

it is so hard to keep track of this BPA stuff. I replaced storage containers in three homes and still afraid now that it said BPA FREE could not be free of hormones... hmmm.

6:05AM PST on Jan 19, 2013


2:01PM PST on Jan 18, 2013

I always use glass bottles although not convenient they are safe & recycle.

2:50AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

Thank you for posting.

10:54AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

good to know

4:27PM PDT on May 19, 2012

So, is BPA/BPS in reusable metal water bottles? Ick...

10:00PM PDT on May 18, 2012

I knew there was a reason I never trusted plastic. Funny thing about it is I read about how eating from plastic causes infertility in your children (not for yourself) while I was pregnant with my daughter in a science magazine, and people were still telling me not to use glass bottles. Sad how it took so long to get so much coverage - this has been known as a major issue for over seven years now

7:34PM PDT on May 14, 2012

thanks! i've never heard of BPS...

8:47AM PDT on May 8, 2012

thanks! I wonder if my stainless steel Klean Kanteen contains it. I would think not?

4:16PM PDT on May 6, 2012


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