In an article published on February 19, 2018 by The Guardian, journalist David Cox addressed the question “Can exposure to plastics harm your health?” which is currently being much debated. Special focus was on the chemical bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7). BPA is used in the manufacture of epoxy coatings found in most food and beverage cans as well as in polycarbonate (PC) plastics that are used in, e.g., refillable water bottles. Migration of BPA from the packaging into food and drink and subsequent dietary intake is one of the main routes of consumer exposure.
Cox referred to a recent scientific study finding that the majority of UK teenagers have BPA in their bodies and that exposure is hard to avoid (FPF reported). Cox further informed that exposure to BPA has been linked to, e.g., male infertility, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, coronary artery disease, and breast cancer. However, it is difficult “to get concrete proof that BPA is definitively involved in many of these diseases,” he explained.
“Because you can’t establish a direct causal link, it’s hard to make strong conclusions, and that’s what causes the controversy,” stated Tamara Galloway, professor of ecotoxicology at the University of Exeter, UK, who led the dietary intervention study with teenagers. Despite precautionary measures set out in government regulations, it is not easy “to avoid coming into contact with BPA as it’s simply everywhere, from plastic drinks bottles to the epoxy resins that line the cans of tinned food,” Cox noted. Nevertheless, Galloway recommended taking certain steps to limit exposure to BPA, such as breastfeeding children or using BPA-free baby bottles, buying unpackaged fruit and vegetables, avoiding heavily processed and packaged food, and refraining from microwaving food in PC containers.
David Cox (February 19, 2018). “Are we poisoning our children with plastic?” The Guardian
Monica Amarelo and Samara Geller (February 11, 2018). “5 ways to reduce your exposure to toxic BPA.” EcoWatch