What Is BPA? How to Avoid It?

The supermarkets commonly use it as a feature on some products. “BPA FREE LINING”. But what is BPA and why should we avoid it? BPA stands for Bisphenol acid. It is a chemical that has been used to make certain types of plastic and resins since the 1960s. The chemical is found in polycarbonate plastic and is used in a wide range of food and drink packaging. It’s commonly found in plastic water bottles and most aluminium tins of food and drink are also lined with this type of plastic.

Where does BPA come from?

BPA is a man made chemical that has the capabilities to release harmful chemicals into our bodies. It’s classified as an endocrine disruptor which alters our endocrine system by mimicking the bodies natural hormones. There has been a significant amount of research that has determined its toxicity to humans and studies on animals suggest that continuous use of BPA increases your risk of cancer and heart problems.

How do you know if a tin contains BPA?

The best way to determine whether a tin has a BPA lining or not is to check the front of the packaging. If the company is not using BPA, they will likely make it known as this is a great selling point for them. Due to the various different types of plastics used within food packaging. BPA is not something that can be easily be found upon the colour of the lined tin alone. 

Is BPA banned in the U.S?

BPA is banned in many parts of the united states and Canada mainly because the people refused it. It has been proven to contain endocrine disruptors which can cause many problems to the human body. It has been known to cause weight gain as well as increase certain types of cancer. In 2012, the united states food and drug administration banned the use of BPA in certain baby products, especially those that are intended for babies under 12 months. 

Is BPA banned in the UK?

In the UK, BPA is currently not banned. It is however frowned upon by many health conscious people and we are consistently pushing for it to be removed. Some brands have listened to the people and have actively removed BPA from their tin linings. Some have refused the use of BPA from the beginning, however these brands tend to be more of an expensive option. For example, a budget tin of baked beans using a BPA lining could cost you around 22p, whereas a BPA free brand would charge £1.10 per tin and despite the ingredients being organic, they are very similar. According to various internet sources, it could be said that the fizzy drink soda industries have been the slowest to introduce non BPA containers.

How to avoid BPA?

The best way to avoid BPA as a whole would be to buy tins or plastics that state “BPA Free.” Another option would be to cut down buying tins or foods that have plastic packaging and instead go for glass, or stainless steel containers. Another method would be to ensure you do not heat plastics in the microwave or oven as heating the material can make more BPA resin to leach into your food. Luckily there is something that you can do, such as signing a petition to get it removed from our food and drinks for good.

The reason that cutting out tins and plastic altogether might be the solution that we need is because even if we do get BPA removed from the food industry, how can we be reassured that the alternative will prove to be better for our health? In fact, alternatives already exist and are known as BPS, and diphenyl sulfone and they may be just as bad.

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