Everyone loves the party game/icebreaker “two truths and a lie.”
Can you identify which of the following is NOT true about BPA?
A: BPA was banned in baby products because the FDA found that it is harmful to children.
B: BPA makes products better.
C: Every major health agency has declared BPA to be safe.
In 2012, the FDA banned manufacturers from using BPA in baby bottles and other baby products. Yet, it wasn’t because the FDA found that BPA was harmful or toxic to children. Intead, manufacturers of these products–faced with myriad looming state and local bans and restrictions on the chemical–requested the FDA to ban its use in certain baby products. From the manufacturers’ standpoint, it was easier to comply with one federal ban than to try to comply with thousands of regulations.
BPA stands for bisphenol-A, a chemical used to make certain plastics and resins. BPA has been used since the 1960s and is mostly associated with canned food to prevent bacterial contamination. BPA is also used to make plastic stronger–hard enough to replace steel and transparent enough to be used as a substitute for glass. BPA is found in medical equipment, DVDs, car dashboards, eyeglass lenses, prosthetic limbs, bicycle helmets, safety goggles, sports equipment, furniture, roo?ng, garage doors, gardening tools, cell phones, laptops, tablet computers, gaming units, and other common items. It makes these products more durable and longer lasting which ultimately saves the consumer the cost of constantly replacing items that easily break, wear down, or become contaminated with bacteria.
BPA is used in the lining of canned food to create an impenetrable seal, which protects the food from potentially deadly bacteria. BPA is also added to plastics to make products more durable, safer, longer lasting, and affordable. BPA has an incredible safety record. The latest studies on BPA show that the chemical passes quickly through the body, doesn’t accumulate, and is excreted quickly, mainly through urine. More importantly, people simply don’t come in contact with high enough levels of BPA through the use of everyday products and consumables for it to impact the human body.
Some studies do show harm associated with BPA exposure. Yet, it’s important to realize that in these studies, often conducted on mice and rats (and sometime monkeys), the animals are injected with massive doses of the chemical directly into their blood stream. This is not a proxy for how humans come in contact with BPA.
Health and safety regulatory agencies worldwide, drawing on thousands of studies, have concluded that BPA is safe. Those agencies include:
- The Worldwide Health Organization
- The Food and Drug Administration
- The Environmental Protection Agency
- The European Union’s Food Safety Authority
- Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
- Norway’s Scienti?c Committee for Food Safety
- France’s Food Safety Agency
- Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment
- Canada’s Health Agency
- Australia and New Zealand’s Joint Food Standards Council
Parents and other consumers can be assured that BPA is safe.