The chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that mimics the hormone estrogen. Bisphenol A possesses the ability to not only bind to one receptor in the body, but three – the estrogen, the male hormone, and the thyroid hormone receptors. When it binds to these receptors, hormone production levels go completely out of whack.
Although most commonly known to be in plastics and soup cans, bisphenol A can actually be found in other lesser known locations. According to a study entitled On The Money: BPA on Dollar Bills and Receipts, the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA has been found on 95% of United States dollar bills. In addition, Harvard Medical School revealed that dental fillings and sealants contain dangerously high levels of the deadly chemical BPA, and some dentists are still claiming that these fillings and sealants are still perfectly safe for children.
Unfortunately, there is no definite way to not ingest these chemicals when consuming foods or beverages which have been stored in plastic containers. As food or liquid sits in the container, chemicals slowly leach out from the plastic and become absorbed by whatever is being stored in it. This leaching effect is amplified greatly when plastic is exposed to any amount of heat as well. In fact, microwaving plastic containers or bottles as well as placing a hot substance in the container or bottle results in a mega BPA transference with the chemical leaching 55 times faster than when the plastic and substance are cold.
In addition to heat being a factor for chemical leaching, the chemicals may leach faster if the container is often put in the dishwasher or if it is washed with harsh detergents or cleaning agents.
What is all of this exposure adding up to? A myriad of health conditions. Bisphenol A has been shown to:
- Cause Breast Cancer
- Lead to Obesity
- Result in widespread fertility problems
- Feminize boys
- Accelerate maturation in girls
- Increase diabetes risk
- Cause depression and hyperactivity in young girls of the BPA exposed mother
The chemical is so toxic that Canada has even become the first country to completely ban the substance. Many people in the United States are on a mission to get rid of bisphenol a as well. On September 20, 2011, a major legislative health breakthrough occurred where the California Senate voted to ban bisphenol A from baby bottles and sippy cups sold within the state. More recently, a group of 20 scientists are trying to persuade United States authorities to at least heavily regulate the use of the chemical. This action move is after 20 years of research on the harmful effects of BPA and other chemicals.
Luckily, there are many simple ways to prevent and even reverse BPA exposure.