Have you heard about the chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) which is used in the manufacture of plastic and resins? There was a controversy regarding the presence of the said chemical in various products like water bottles, feeding bottles, and soda cans as it was reported by different organizations that BPA can cause various health problems like diabetes, obesity, and asthma.
This health scare has led to the use of BPA-free plastic products like water and feeding bottles. Which leads us to the question—are BPA water bottles dead? BPA has been harnessed in commercial applications since 1957. It is used for making clear and hard plastic and epoxy resins. Aside from water bottles, BPA is found in CDs, DVDs, and sports equipment. Bring your own water bottle
It is also utilized for lining water pipes and for coating the insides of beverage and food cans. On the surface, BPA sounds like a very valuable resource. But in 2008, the potential hazards of the chemical on human health were revealed and made headlines.
Are BPA Water Bottles Dead
Many health issues were raised regarding the use of BPA in various consumer products. One study conducted by Dr. De-Kun Li indicated that exposure to the chemical may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.
The study was reported in the Human Reproduction Journal and indicated that sexual desire and ejaculation problems may also be affected by BPA exposure.
Scientists at the University of Cincinnati also found in a study that BPA may cause heart diseases in women. While another US study suggested that BPA exposure may increase the risk of diabetes and heart diseases in adults.
BPA exposure may also cause loss of connections between brain cells, resulting to memory and learning problems and depression.
And even women may not be spared from reproductive problems caused by BPA as exposure to the said chemical was found to affect the quality of woman’s eggs, according to Californian researchers.
BPA exposure was also found by University of Cincinnati scientists to reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment. Meanwhile, a Yale School of Medicine research suggested that BPA exposure can increase the risks of cancer among females.
Fueling the fire, so to speak, was a report from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2010 that affirmed that BPA can cause possible hazards to children, infants, and fetuses.
The agency even supported moves to stop production of BPA water bottles and infant feeding cups, and recommended the development of alternatives to BPA. With the many findings about the ill effects of BPA on human health, it was not surprising that many people were rattled.
The health scare was enough for many people to turn to BPA-free products like water bottles. Parents were particularly worried that the feeding bottles used by their babies had BPA, so they bought BPA-free bottles and sippy cups instead.
Other stores voluntarily pulled out BPA products from their shelves in response to the public outcry. Even the top retailers like Babies R Us, Toys R Us, and Walmart decided to stop selling baby feeding bottles with BPA. Countries like Canada banned the use of BPA in baby bottles.
This move spurred calls in the U.S. Senate to prohibit the use of the said chemical in consumer products. In the U.S., states like Chicago and Minnesota banned BPA in water bottles and sippy cups.
Connecticut also passed a law that banned BPA in reusable water bottles for childrens, as well as infant formula containers. Even before that pronouncement from the FDA, six bottle makers all agreed to stop using BPA.
These were Avent, Gerber, Disney First Years, Playtex, Evenflo, and Dr. Brown.
Are non-BPA plastic water bottles safe now?
So just when everybody was buying BPA-free plastic bottles, a surprising turn of events happened.
The US FDA took a different stand on the issue three years later when it reported in March 2013 that BPA is safe at very low levels.
It added that the use of BPA in food packaging and containers is safe, and that the assessment was based on a review of scientists of hundreds of studies.
The US FDA reaffirmed that statement in July 2014, saying that BPA is harmless at current levels in occurring foods.
The finding was based on a four-year review of more than 300 studies conducted by FDA experts specializing in various fields like toxicology, endocrinology, analytical chemistry, and epidemiology.
One of the studies conducted by FDA scientists showed that BPA does not have any health effects particularly when in low doses.
The experiment had rats fed with low doses of the chemical did not have any changes in their body weights, hormone levels, and reproductive development.
However, the studies did mention that rats that were exposed to the two highest doses of BPA had lower body weight and abnormal female reproductive development.
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The FDA was not the only one who made that assessment. Regulatory agencies in various countries like Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and even in the European Union conducted extensive reviews on the subject.
Their findings were basically the same —that the current levels of exposure to BPA through water bottles and food packaging do not pose a significant health risk to the public.
The contention is that the level of BPA in water bottles is too low to make any impact on human health. Another argument is that BPA is quickly eliminated from the body. It is immediately metabolized, and does not accumulate in the blood or tissues.
So it is highly unlikely that humans would be exposed to high levels of BPA and suffer from the various health problems that were said to be caused by BPA exposure.
So don’t be surprised to see BPA-free water bottles slowly losing their appeal to the general public. With the FDA ruling out any harmful effects of BPA exposure on human health, it would only be a matter of time before non-BPA free water bottles inundate the market again. Obviously, the answer to the question ‘are BPA water bottles dead’ is a resounding no.