Toxic BPA Sales Skyrocket Despite Link to Cancer, Obesity, More

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a building block for polycarbonate plastic (think hard plastic water bottles) and epoxy resins (think the lining of soup cans and aluminum soda cans). When it is heated or exposed to an alkaline environment, the molecular bonds holding BPA together break down to form xenoestrogens that disrupt the body’s hormonal balance, and has been linked to obesity, cancer, infertility, immune imbalances, and a host of other health problems.

A recent study from Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal Environmental Health found that commonly-found toxins in plastics are linked to both general obesity and abdominal obesity.

Despite consumer pressures and many studies linking BPA to disease, the chemical industry will claim record sales of this toxic substance, according to a new study by Transparency Market Research. Based on the current growth of BPA sales to $13.1 Billion in 2012, it is expected to reach a record $18.8 Billion by 2019—a 44% increase.

While the Asia-Pacific region is driving some of the increasing demand, the report indicates that North America is the globe’s “third largest regional market for BPA,” behind Asia and Europe.

Tom Philpott, journalist for Mother Jones magazine, claims that critical information outlining which companies hold the largest share of the global BPA market had been blacked out by Transparency Market Research in the sample report sent to him. According to the US Department of Agriculture Report, two companies, “produce the bulk of BPA in the world”—Bayer (Germany) and Dow (US). Philpott also indicates that Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), a company 70% owned by the Saudi government is another major BPA producer.

In study after study BPA is linked to an increasing list of health problems and diseases.  It damages the reproductive system in women and causes low sperm count and prostate cancer in men.  It has been linked to early puberty, obesity, breast cancer, and other conditions.

Governments are still relying on chemical industry-funded studies to set policy and law on BPA, essentially making it self-regulated.  The US FDA argues that BPA is a “grandfathered” chemical which limits the FDA’s ability to regulate or ban it.

The packaging industry uses BPA to make plastics flexible and delay canned goods spoilage.

To reduce your exposure to BPA:

Choose only BPA-free plastics if using plastic products

Use metal or BPA-free plastic water bottles

Avoid heating or microwaving food in plastic containers

Choose BPA-free canned goods when using them

Limit your purchases of plastics

Avoid giving children toys, bottles, and canned foods unless the products are clearly labelled “BPA-free.”

Stop using plastic cooking utensils.  Choose renewable bamboo instead.

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Klaus Peters
Klaus Peters5 years ago

Avoiding BPA is impossible, it is just everywhere, we would starve or die of thirst if we did. Big Plastic has it all wrapped up. So we suffer and may get sick, since government departments are useless and will only side the devil's $.

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin5 years ago

bamboo cooking supplies sound like a great idea

John B.
John B5 years ago

Thanks Michelle for the info and tips on going BPA free.

benson gitonga
benson g5 years ago


Jaime A.
Jaime Alves5 years ago


A F.
Athena F5 years ago

thank you

Karen Gee5 years ago

Thank you for sharing

JL A5 years ago

scary stuff and sad

Judy Apelis
Judy A5 years ago

Thank you

Greg Shea
Greg Shea5 years ago

Hi, Janet G.
Thank you for your comment. I would stop after the "first five words". Everyone has to decide how we arrived where we are. What bothers me as that some of the biggest corporations in the world seem to be run by people who think we have a right to have "dominion" over "Nature". To me, it is ultimately way more important to be "good stewards of the Creation". Whether we evolved or were created is therefore really quite irrelevant. We MUST take care of the planet we all depend on, and this includes our own bodies. I love what Dr. Vandana Shiva notes, especially with respect to Monsanto and the like: GMO, she says, stands for "God Move Over".