Bisphenol A (BPA) is a hormone-disrupting chemical, which means that it can mimic or block hormones and disrupt the body's normal functions. Numerous studies suggest it can have health effects at extremely low exposure levels. BPA is especially of concern for vulnerable populations: pregnant women, babies and children. Exposure to BPA appears to increase the risk of early puberty, cancer (breast and prostate), obesity, infertility, and metabolic disorders.
BPA In Our Lives
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in hard plastics and epoxy resins. It was first used in the 1930's as a synthetic estrogen. These days, it helps make plastics strong while staying lightweight, and coats metal food containers in order to preserve the food inside. It shows up everywhere, from our sports water bottle to our can of infant formula, and the paper in the receipts we get for buying these items. BPA is one of the highest-volume chemicals produced in the world.
BPA In Our Bodies
When BPA is in our cans and bottles, it doesn’t just stay there — it leaches out into the foods they contain. And from there, into us. Testing from the Centers for Disease Control revealed BPA in nearly 95% of Americans tested.
In response to state policy leadership the US FDA banned BPA from baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula cans. But BPA is still found in canned food and beverages, some sports water bottles, receipt paper, dental sealants, and paper money.
Progress to Protect Health
For a downloadable version of the history of policy on BPA, click here.
Twelve states have passed over a dozen policies limiting BPA exposure, from requiring labels to banning its use in everything from infant formula cans to sports bottles to receipt paper. And the rest of the world has been stepping up as well:
Canada. In May 2008, Canada became the first government in the world to that conclude BPA is hazardous to human health and to impose a limited ban on BPA in baby bottles. In October 2010, the Canadian government formally declared BPA to be toxic, setting the stage for further restrictions on the chemical throughout the country.
Europe. The European Union banned the manufacture of sale of baby bottles with BPA.
France. France has passed bans against BPA in food containers. The law for food containers for children will go into effect in 2013, and the law for food packaging for everyone else will go into effect in 2015.