The hidden dangers of BPA, or Bisphenol A, lurk in every sip you take, in every cake you bake, in every meal you make. It exists everywhere but nowhere at the same time. Loaded with health risks and hidden dangers BPA is the single most pervasive organo-estrogen in the world. It’s use has enabled the plastic industry to successfully neuter most men and make them sexually unresponsive! Just look at this chart of Viagra prescriptions vs Year:
The vertical axis represents millions of prescriptions filled. As you can see it has been steadily increasing since 2001.
Well, I’m kidding about the whole Viagra bit, but seriously this is one bad chemical. Let’s look at the products that BPA exists in:
Metal Linings of Cans
Basically anything plastic with the following symbol may contain BPA:
This symbol is usually found on the bottom of the bottle or product.
BPA is a known endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen in the body. The endocrine system is a complex multi-organ system which regulates pretty much everything in the body. Specifically, it regulates the hormones in our body. Everything from gonadotropic hormones (sex hormones) to small, inter-cellular messengers that regulate body temperature. The endocrine system includes the Thyroid and Hypothyroid as well as pretty much every organ in the body. In one way or another, most organs excrete some hormone. Anyway, BPA interacts with the gonadotropic hormone estrogen. Everybody, including men, have estrogen producing organs. However, men are specifically at risk because too much estrogen has been linked to prostate cancer, weight gain and a host of other conditions. Specifically, too much estrogen in men can contribute to cancers, heart problems, weight gain and low bone density. In women it can cause sterility, acting as an artificial birth control [check]. Nonetheless, extra hormones in our drinking water is not going to be a good thing by any means. Let’s take a look at all the dangers of BPA:
Affects on the Lungs
Whew! That’s a long list of the dangers of BPA! But wait, there’s more! We’re not quite done yet, there are still environmental dangers of BPA:
Nitrogen Fixation of the roots of leguminous plant that rely on bacterial symbiotic relationships
Harm fish and other organisms over time
Disruption of reproduction of mollusks, crustaceans, insects, fish and amphibians
Clearly the dangers of BPA are persistant and consistent. This is one nasty chemcal that can lead to serious health complications to both our society and the envoronment! So why is it still being used?
Well, according to the FDA, the amount of human exposure to BPA is so minimal in the United States and other countries that it is considered a safe products. Curious, it is loaded with health dangers, environmental dangers, and it is pervasive, yet it is considered safe? According to the FDA:
“the scientific evidence at this time does not suggest that the very low levels of human exposure to BPA through the diet are unsafe.”
I guess it’s a good thing that the FDA can conclude politically that the amount we are potentially exposed to is considered safe and below the threshold for danger. What happens when they slowly increase that threshold of what is considered safe? Is there actual scientific evidence suggesting that these small amounts are safe for a lifetime? Do plastic companies have interests in keeping these levels “safe” ? What are your thoughts?