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(BPT) - Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is primarily used to make polycarbonate plastic, which is a clear, highly shatter-resistant material used in consumer products you may use every day. It is also used to make epoxy resins, which are used in many tough protective coatings.
You may have heard of it before – it gets covered in the news from time-to-time, with articles questioning its safety. Before you consider avoiding BPA based on eye-catching headlines, here are five key take-aways about BPA:
1. Many of today’s consumer products are safer and more effective, thanks to BPA.
Both polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins have unique attributes that help to provide the high performance that you expect in many consumer products. Durable auto parts and building materials, sports safety gear, life-saving medical equipment, and many other products depend on high-performance materials made with BPA.
For example, polycarbonate plastic is used in eyeglass lenses because it is highly shatter-resistant, clear like glass, and light-weight. This allows for thinner, lighter lenses that are more comfortable to wear. It’s also used in safety equipment like sports helmets and bullet-proof shields because of its strength, durability and shatter resistance. And, when epoxy protective coatings are used in cans, BPA supports food safety and quality by helping to protect food from contamination.
2. BPA has been safely used and studied for decades.
Both polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins have been safely used in numerous consumer products for well over 50 years. Because these materials are so widely used, the safety of BPA has been extensively studied by scientists, and BPA is one of the most thoroughly tested chemicals today. The long safety track record for polycarbonate and epoxy products, combined with the extensive scientific data on BPA, provides assurance that products made from polycarbonate and epoxy resins continue to be safe for use.
3. A “BPA-free” product is not safer.
Since BPA is an essential ingredient in polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, it would not be possible to make these materials without BPA. In light of the long safety track record of BPA and the high performance of these materials, it would be quite a challenge to find alternatives that are safer and can provide the same high performance.
It is no surprise that alternatives to BPA are not nearly as well studied since BPA is one of the best studied chemicals in commerce. In addition, government bodies worldwide have affirmatively concluded, after reviewing the extensive scientific record, that BPA is safe as used.
4. Exposure to BPA is extremely low.
Although products containing polycarbonate and epoxy are quite common, very little BPA itself is present in the products we use. In fact, the tiny amount of BPA that we may take in, mostly through our normal daily diet, is far below—more than 1000 times below—the safe limit set by U.S. government agencies based on extensive scientific review. You would have to ingest about 1,300 pounds of food and beverages that come into contact with polycarbonate every day in order to exceed the government’s safe intake limit. Also, our bodies quickly process and get rid of any small amount of BPA that we are exposed to within 24 hours.
5. Governments around the world, including FDA, confirm it’s safe.
In the last several years, government bodies worldwide have carefully reviewed the scientific evidence on BPA to determine whether it is safe for use. Based on the science, the FDA answers the question “Is BPA safe?” with a clear answer – “Yes.”
Most importantly, a comprehensive set of studies conducted by the FDA, including the largest study ever conducted on BPA, provide compelling evidence that there are no risks of health effects from BPA at the levels consumers are typically exposed to. And the FDA isn’t the only government agency to come to this conclusion. Leading international food safety agencies, including the European Food Safety Authority, Health Canada, and Food Standards Australia New Zealand, among others, have also evaluated the science on BPA and independently reached similar conclusions as the FDA.
While you may see headlines and social media that concern you, there’s no need to worry when it comes to BPA – in fact, BPA plays a pretty big role in making products we rely on safer and more effective!
Keep yourself informed and get more of the facts about BPA by visiting www.factsaboutBPA.org.