Summary of BPA

What is Bisphenol-A?

Abbreviated BPA, Bisphenol-A is an organic compound. It is a difunctional building block for several important polymers and polymer additives. It is widely used in the manufacture of epoxy resin and Polycarbonate. While many manufacturers would state that once the resin is made there should be no residual BPA in the resin, it is not always a guarantee. This is important; it is not in the manufacture of the bottle but the manufacturing of the resin or epoxy where the BPA contamination could occur.

What is the Issue?

  • There are an increasing number of studies and theories that show that BPA will leach out of a Polycarbonate bottle over time. There are further studies that suggest that BPA will leach out quicker when the bottle is either heated (such as dishwashing or boiling) or if a heated liquid is put into the bottle (such as tea).
  • Because BPA is an organic compound that mimics estrogen, many studies are linking BPA to disorders such as Breast/Prostate Cancer, early puberty, hyperactivity and insulin resistance.
  • There are also an equal number of studies that show BPA has absolutely no affect on humans based on the dosages that a person COULD receive if it leached into a bottle. Further to this, there are studies that show that under no circumstances will BPA leach out of the finished bottle.
  • On April 18th, 2008 Canada became the first nation to ban BPA in baby bottles and other baby related items. Further, they stated caution to the general public to minimize exposure to BPA, though no ban was made on Polycarbonate water bottles.

What Products is BPA in?

  • The only plastic product that uses BPA in its manufacture is Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a widely used type of plastic that is found in everything from baby bottles to clear sport bottles to eye glasses.
  • There is no way to identify if a bottle is made from Polycarbonate unless there is a PC underneath the recycle code.
    Recycle icon

However:

  • the recycle code is not required by law to be on the bottle
  • the PC is not required to be on the bottle
  • even if a bottle has the #7 code (shown) it does not mean that the bottle contains BPA. The recycle code #7 is simply a miscellaneous category for all plastics that are not listed under codes #1-#6.

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