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BPA and BPA-free plastic food containers are both disasters for our health
Plastic can sure be convenient—in our water bottles, canned goods, single-use containers and more—but holy cow can we pay a price in terms of health.
The chemical BPA (short for bisphenol A) in common plastics has been associated with autoimmune disease and “endocrine disruption,” which can suppress testosterone production and cause weight gain, cancer, male sexual dysfunction, gynecomasty (male breast enlargement), infertility, miscarriages, type 2 diabetes, thyroid problems and more (1, 2).
When these health risks came to light, the industry found replacements for BPA. They included different chemicals, including bisphenol B (BPB), bisphenol E (BPE), bisphenol F (BPF), and so on. The new plastic products were touted as “BPA-free”, which made many of us assume they were safer. But research from Denmark suggests they are just as bad (2). Researchers compared the hazards of the new chemicals to the old and found they appeared to be equally toxic. They state:
“…there were indications of DNA damage, carcinogenicity, oxidative stress, effects on metabolism, and skin sensitization of one or more of the test compounds.”
“Interference with the endocrine system was the predominant effect of the test compounds. A substitution of BPA with these structural analogues should be carried out with caution.”
So consider replacing your plastic Tupperware with glass containers, replace your plastic water bottle with stainless steel, look for non-perishables that come in glass jars instead of cans, and look for other opportunities to ditch any plastic that touches your food or beverage.
- Kharrazian D. The Potential Roles of Bisphenol A (BPA) Pathogenesis in Autoimmunity. Autoimmune Dis. 2014;2014:743616. doi:10.1155/2014/743616. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24804084/
- Rosenmai AK, Dybdahl M, Pedersen M, et al. Are structural analogues to bisphenol a safe alternatives?. Toxicol Sci. 2014;139(1):35-47. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfu030. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24563381/.