BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical compound used in the production of certain types of plastics and resins. It has been widely used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, which are commonly found in food and beverage packaging such as bottles, containers, and can linings.
BPA is considered harmful due to its potential to leach out of the plastic or resin and into the food or beverages it comes into contact with, especially under certain conditions such as exposure to heat, acidic substances, or prolonged storage. When consumed, BPA can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and disrupt the normal hormonal functions.
The potential health risks associated with BPA exposure have raised concerns among researchers, regulatory agencies, and consumers. Some of the observed or suggested adverse effects of BPA include:
It's important to note that while numerous animal studies have shown negative effects associated with BPA exposure, human studies have produced more inconsistent results. Nevertheless, many regulatory agencies and governments have taken a precautionary approach, implementing measures to limit BPA exposure, particularly in products intended for infants and young children.
To address consumer concerns, many manufacturers have started offering BPA-free alternatives for packaging materials. Choosing BPA-free products or opting for alternative packaging options can help minimise potential exposure to BPA.