Bisphenol-A (or BPA, as its street name goes) has earned a bad reputation amongst people for a while now. A common building block of resins and plastics, BPA was available in almost all plastic goods before scientists realized the ugly truth – it was a compound that disrupted the body’s endocrine system, leading to hormonal misbalances and ensuing illnesses. The literature on BPA's negative effects has risen considerably, with researchers correlating a negative impact on a biological entity's reproductive, developmental and metabolic effects.
BPA is generally found in plastic containers, as well as epoxy resins. Research suggests that through use, such plastics start leeching BPA into the stored food/beverage, through which BPA enters the body of the consumer. It has been observed to cause blood pressure problems, along with the earlier issues stated that BPA causes.
Let us explore the methods to ensure that your family is safe from the scourge of Bisphenol-A.
Identifying BPA free plastics – a necessary step for your family’s safety
One of the easiest ways to determine whether the plastic container in question is free of BPA is to see whether the manufacturer claims the same. Usually, given the fact that consumers now actively seek out BPA free alternatives, most producers of plastics happily invest in BPA free plastics, and actively advertise via labels that the bottle is BPA free. In order to be more vigilant, one can examine the plastic container, observe the number inside the prominent triangle made of three arrows (the recycling sign), which would have a number out of 1 to 7. These numbers designate the material from which the plastic is made, and recognizing which materials While bottle with the numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 are safe and unlikely to contain BPA, bottles with the numbers 3, 6 and 7 are most likely to have BPA present in them. Tampering with these labels is extremely difficult, as most legal jurisdictions require manufacturers require these labels to be embossed on the container at the point of creation.
Another marker to avoid is the “PC” symbol, which stands for polycarbonates. Polycarbonates are generally used to make rigid plastics, and such plastic containers often contain BPA to reduce cracking or breaking. Plastics marketed as unbreakable, usually contain polycarbonates, and as such might have BPA in them. Softer, non-rigid plastics thus, are more trustworthy, but when you’re looking out for your family, we’d always advise you to keep a keen eye on the labelling on the plastic product.
It is important to remember that till recently, we were blissfully unaware of the BPA problem. As such, older plastics should be abandoned without much regret, as the heirloom value of the plastic cannot match up to the cost a toxic container might cost your family’s health. We’d advise you to discard plastics that have gathered a lot of scratches and might have been exposed to heat often; as such plastics often start bleaching BPA more easily.
After reading this article, we’re sure you’re looking at your plastics with a necessary look of suspicion. While we’ve briefed you regarding the ways that you can save your family from BPA ingestion and the risks associated with the same, you might be considering if there’s more you can do. In response to the paranoia generated by plastics, alternative materials have been making a resurgence. There are glass and silicon alternatives for your plastic containers, which come without the risk of leaching toxins in your foods. Even if you’re not thinking of making the shift, consider ensuring that your plastics avoid high heat or harsh cleaning. Take moves in order to protect your family, and ensure that they’re happy and healthy.