Many Americans have come to the point where they agree that bisphenol-a (BPA) is probably something worth avoiding in food containers. It’s no longer a leap of faith when current research keeps churning out evidence of gender-bending effects, such as increased aggression in toddler girls after exposure to BPA during pregnancy.
But now we’re hearing about BPA lurking in the most surprising places:
- Lids of glass canning jars and baby food jars
- Lining the inside of aluminum bottles, cans and prepared baby formula containers (previously assumed by most to be BPA-free)
- 5-gallon drinking water bottles (the blue tinted kind you see at the office cooler)
- Polypropylene plastic food containers (found in the “free and clear” recycling category #5)
- Pizza boxes made of recycled cardboard
- Recycled paper (including toilet paper)
- Wine (fermented in vats line with BPA-based epoxy)
- Water and water piping
And now we’re learning that carbonless credit card receipts may be the largest single source of BPA yet. Which leads us to ask the question: are we verging on hysteria in worrying this much about BPA?
In my opinion, no. When a single chemical is produced in such massive quantities (6 billion pounds per year!), we are remiss if we don’t worry about widespread human exposure from its use and subsequent occurrence in our environment. We’re no longer talking about avoiding a baby bottle here and there – we’re talking about chronic exposure to an endocrine disrupting chemical on a very large scale from multiple sources: air, food, household dust, physical contact and water.
How do you feel about our current state of concern? Have we lost our minds and given in to an irrational fear?
UPDATE 7/28/10: Can BPA be absorbed through the skin? It’s beginning to look like the answer is YES. Read more HERE.