BPA

BPA

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  • 1 Answer
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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    Scientists are debating whether BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates pose a risk to children's health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concerns about chemicals used in plastics. BPA is used to make plastics clear, strong and hard to break. Some baby bottles, dishes and toys contain this chemical. Some research has found that bisphenol A can affect the brain, behavior and prostate gland in infants and children.

    If you're concerned, buy BPA-free plastic baby products. You can also use baby bottles made of glass, polypropylene or polyethylene. If you use plastics, avoid plastics numbered 7 (look for the number in a triangle typically found on the bottom of containers). Use plastics numbered 1, 2 and 4. If plastic baby bottles and infant cups contain BPA, discard them if they have scratches. Don't put boiling or very hot liquids, such as formula, into plastic bottles or containers that contain BPA.

  • 2 Answers
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    In addition to being convenient and inexpensive, plasticware is a great way to take food on the go. The problem is that some plastics contain BPA, a dangerous chemical that’s been linked to neurological damage, thyroid issues and even cancer. Manufacturers include the chemical to make plastics that are light, durable and resilient. Most plastic items that are labeled with the number 7 for recycling purposes contain BPA. When these containers are heated, either in the microwave or dishwasher, they slowly melt and decompose, causing BPA to leach into your food.

    Follow these guidelines when using these containers:
    • Never put a plastic container in the microwave or dishwasher. While some containers are listed as “microwave-safe,” that only means they’re resistant to melting – not that chemicals won’t leach into your dinner.
    • Wait for leftovers to cool before putting them into these containers.
    • Throw away misshapen or cracked containers.
    Purchase versatile plastic containers designed to go in the microwave and store hot food—they will say “BPA-free” and are worth the investment! Glass storage containers are also widely available. They’re lightweight, feature BPA-free plastic lids and are safe in both the microwave and oven.

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  • 1 Answer
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Over 90% of all canned goods in the United States have BPA. If the label doesn’t read “BPA-free,” chances are that it contains the chemical. More acidic foods like tomatoes, chili, and canned soups appear to have the most BPA. A study by Harvard researchers found that people who ate just one serving of canned soup for five days showed an increase in their BPA levels by over 1,000%.
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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Exposure to BPA and DEHP (a phthalate found in many plastic household items) has now been linked to reduced thyroid hormones, which every cell in your body depends on.

    It is now also recommended that you avoid handling thermal paper receipts, like those from gas stations and fast food restaurants, before eating -- especially if you're pregnant!

    BPA is linked to cancer, miscarriage, fertility, obesity, immunity and sexual-development problems. Similar lab studies have linked DEHP and other phthalates to lower sperm counts, reproductive problems and liver cancer.

  • 1 Answer
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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    A debate rages over the safety of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical added to some plastic. Is it leaching into food and drink, and is BPA harmful to health? Animal study after animal study finds that BPA lowers fertility, increases the risk of breast cancer, and causes genetic changes. The latest shows that early life exposure harms adult learning ability, yet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there's no reason to remove BPA from food and beverage containers.
  • 2 Answers
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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Follow my 6-step plan to reduce bisphenol A (BPA) exposure:
    • Eliminate canned foods (BPA lines the cans) and opt for fresh or frozen foods. In a small study, five families who ate fresh foods for 3 days saw their blood levels of BPA drop by 66%!
    • Use ceramic, metal, and glass in the kitchen.
    • Use metal water bottles without BPA liners.
    • Don't use plastic containers with the numbers 3 or 7 on the bottom. Avoid #6 (styrene), too, and buy low-density polyethylene plastic wrap. Even better: See No. 2.
    • Avoid thermal printed receipts. One receipt made from this coated paper delivers about 2% of your daily exposure to BPA.
    • Don't put boiling hot liquid in plastic containers made with BPA. It'll seep into your food.
    All these steps can improve your well-being.
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  • 3 Answers
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    AJen Landa, MD, Sexual Health, answered
    How can I avoid exposure to BPA?
    You can avoid risk of exposure to BPA by only buying "BPA free" cans and products, or buying foods in glass jars or boxes. Watch as hormone specialist Jen Landa, MD, discusses a few ways you can avoid exposing your family to BPA and its effects. 
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  • 2 Answers
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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    BPA is likely to be in older clear, hard, refillable plastic water bottles, pitchers, and baby bottles -- most new models are BPA-free. But it's also in the lining of up to 80% of food cans, so choose fresh or frozen foods, or look for can labels that shout, "No BPA!" And turn down thermal register receipts, or wash your hands after touching them.

    About phthalates: Six have been banned from cosmetics and kids’ toys since 2008, but others still lurk in toys, food packages, shower curtains, rain coats, hoses and shampoo. Tip from a toxicologist: Avoid stuff with a plastic-y odor, or air it out in a backyard or on a porch for a few days before using.
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  • 4 Answers
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    The long-term health risks of BPA exposure have been documented by hundreds of studies. The research shows a wide range of health effects. BPA disrupts hormones, has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals, and has been linked with cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity in humans.
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    APhilip J. Landrigan, MD, Occupational Therapy, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    Many doctors and scientists are concerned about phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) because they can act in ways similar to hormones naturally found in our body. Hormones help control how our body works.

    In studies using rats, phthalates cause problems with male reproductive organs. In children, scientists have found an association between phthalates and changes in reproductive hormones and increased allergies, runny nose, and eczema. In adults, phthalates are associated with changes in sperm quality.

    BPA may cause changes in cells in breasts, the uterus, and the prostate, which may increase risk of cancers. In addition, BPA has been associated with increases in developmental disorders of the brain and nervous system in animals. These developmental disorders in animals are like problems such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in humans.
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