You may have seen that many plastic products now claim to be ‘BPA free’ – but what is BPA exactly and why should you care if it is in your plastic packaging or not?
What does BPA stand for?
BPA stands for Bisphenol A and it is an industrial chemical that is used to make some plastics and resins. It was often used in plastic bottles and some food packaging and can seep into your food and drink that you will then eat.
Is it harmful to me?
Recent studies have shown that small levels of BPA that we ingest from packaging seepage is not harmful to humans and, even when eaten at high levels, BPA is rapidly absorbed and excreted from our bodies without causing ill health.
However, some believe that BPA can cause some undesirable health effects, which is where the fear of BPA has arisen. Additional research has indicated that that there is a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure.
What do I need to look out for on packaging?
Many plastic manufacturers now produce ‘BPA free’ plastics as a precaution against these findings. In order to find these newly produced items, you need to look out for listings of plastic bottles that say that are ‘BPA free’. Be aware that if a plastic product has a recycle code of 3 or 7, it probably contains BPA.
What can I do to reduce my risk?
If you are truly worried about the risk of BPA then there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of exposure. First of all, you could just not use plastic products and opt for glass or metal alternatives. Secondly, you can treat your plastics with a bit more care to prevent BPA leakage by ensuring not to heat them in the microwave and dishwasher.