JAN 12, 2017 2:51 PM PST

Should You be Worried About BPA?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

More and more, consumers are finding plastic products labeled "BPA-free" in their stores. In particular, these claims are most prominent for baby-related needs, such as pacifiers and bottles. But what is BPA, and why are manufacturer touting their products to be rid of this substance?

Short for bisphenol A, BPA is a chemical found in plastics and resins since the 1960s. Over time, research into bisphenol A suggests that it may have adverse effects on human health. And although the BPA is part of the plastic products, concerns were waged that this chemical could seep into foods and be accidentally ingested. In large quantities, BPA exposure could affect metabolism and behavior; it has also been linked to cancer in animal models.

Despite these fear-inducing links, the FDA has stated "BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods." That is to say the levels of BPA in manufactured plastics is not high enough to cause harm. In addition, the European Food Safety Authority added "BPA poses no health risk to consumers of any age group (including unborn children, infants and adolescents) at current exposure levels."
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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