When you buy anything plastic you may see a little label that indicates whether it’s BPA-free or not. While you may have heard the term thrown around, do you know what BPA-free really means?
While some people especially look for products with that label, there are just as many (if not more) who don’t know what that means or why it’s important. If you fall into that group, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. We’re going to take a look at BPAs and why you may want to pay attention to that BPA-free label.
What is BPA?
BPA or bisphenol-A is a chemical that’s been used to make some plastics and resins. BPA was first discovered in the 1890s, but in the 1950s, chemists discovered it could be mixed with other compounds to make strong and resilient plastics.
BPA is widely used in so many products you probably use every day. It can be found in polycarbonate plastics that are used to make water bottles, baby bottles, and food storage containers.
Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of food cans, bottle tops, and other metal products. BPA can also be found in some dental sealants and composites.
However, you can always be certain the products we create and the materials we use in our hydration products are all BPA-free and environmentally friendly at Elemental.
What does it mean when a product is BPA-free
When you see a product labeled as BPA-free it means it doesn’t contain the BPA chemical. While that’s great, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have other potentially harmful chemicals.
Many products that tout the BPA-free label have been replaced with the chemicals Bisphenol-F and Bisphenol-S. Even these chemicals in small doses have been shown to cause problems in the body’s cells similar to BPA.
Look at the bottom of plastic containers. Those with the recycling numbers “3” and “7” usually mean it contains the chemicals BPA, BPS, or BPF. When you see these you can decide whether you want to use them or not.
Why are BPAs bad for you?
You can come in contact with BPAs through your diet. There has been concern that BPAs can get into food and drinks from containers that are made with the chemical. When containers with BPA are made, not all of it gets sealed into the product. When food or drinks are added to them, particles can break up and get into what you’re eating and drinking, and ultimately, into your body.
The problem with BPAs is that it is said to mimic the estrogen hormone. Because it’s shaped like estrogen, it can impact growth, cell repair, energy levels, and reproduction. BPA can also interfere with your thyroid and other hormone receptors.
There are also concerns that BPA can impact fertility. Studies have been done to look at how BPA impacts fertility including one that showed that women who had frequent miscarriages had more BPA in their blood than women with successful pregnancies.
BPA also gets a bad rap because it may also cause cardiovascular problems. Studies have shown a potential increase in the chance of developing cardiovascular disease in those who have had greater exposure to BPA.
China, Malaysia, Canada, and all of the European Union have banned BPA in some uses, mainly in children’s products. Several states and governments in the U.S.
Things to do if you’re worried about BPA
Since it’s nearly impossible to live in a BPA-free world, there are some things you can do to minimize your contact with any BPA products and reduce your risk of potential health problems.
- Avoid using containers in the heat. When you put containers in the microwave or dishwasher, it can break down particles over time. This can lead to BPA seeping into your food and your body.
- Cut down on cans. Eat less canned food to minimize your exposure to BPA.
- Don’t use plastic containers. Look for alternatives like stainless steel or glass to store and heat food.
These are all little things you can do every day that can go a long way in keeping you and your family healthy.
When it comes to BPA, know that BPA-free doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods when it comes to chemicals. There may be chemical substitutes that can still be dangerous.
To avoid BPA and its potential side effects, we recommend two steps: First, buy your hydration products from Elemental. All of our products are BPA-free. Second, steer clear of plastic containers as many of them contain harmful chemicals that leach into the container's contents.