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BPA (Bisphenol A) | a Dangerous Chemical in Many Products
BPA (Bisphenol A)

  • BPA (bisphenol A).   Purchase BPA-free products.  This compound is used to make hard plastic, and is used in some beverage containers including baby bottles, large water cooler containers, sports bottles, microwave-oven dishes, and canned food liners.  BPA is probably used in plastic bottles with #7 in the recycle symbol on the bottom of the container.  BPA is also present on the paper that many store receipts are printed on; unfortunately, you cannot tell which ones on the basis of a visual inspection.  (Environmental Health Perspectives online, Jan. 1, 2012; the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nov. 23/30, 2011)

  • BPA can be found in cellphones, CD's, dental sealants, eyeglasses, and in hundreds of other household items.  It is present in the liner of almost all canned food, leaching into soups, tuna, green beans, and juice.  BPA levels in many canned foods have exceeded levels considered safe. 

  • BPA in Orthodontic Appliances and Retainers.   Dentists make plastic retainers for their patients after wearing dental braces to hold teeth in position, to close gaps or spaces between teeth. 

    A 2012 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reinforced concerns that BPA could contribute to breast cancer in women.  BPA affects the endocrine system as it mimics estrogen, raising the risk of hormonal problems.  BPA is linked to many health issues, from various cancers to diabetes and heart disease. 

    Ask your dentist if he makes appliances or retainers from BPA-free plastic. Some of the dentists in Spokane who use BPA-free material are:

    Orthodontist Bret Johnson
    755 E. Holland Ave.
    Spokane, WA 99218
    (509) 466-2666

    Dr. Travis Coulter
    1601 S. Dishman Mica Rd
    Spokane Valley, WA 99206
    (509) 924-1314 

    Dentists can secure BPA-free Essix ACE Plastic from Osborn Denture Clinic & Lab, 303 N. Pines Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206   (509) 922-1885

  • Baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, as of July 2012.  Some researchers say ingesting the chemical can interfere with development of the reproductive and nervous systems in babies and young children. Fortunately, the bottle industry has reportedly phased out the chemical in baby bottles, although it is considered safe for use in products that hold food.  BPA is found in hundreds of plastic items from water bottles to CDs to dental sealants.   ("FDA tightens baby bottle rules," Associated Press, July 18, 2012)

  • Health concerns.  More than 100 studies performed by government scientists, university laboratories, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, have found health concerns associated with BPA.  Ten states are currently considering bills to restrict use of this chemical.  A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in May 2012 reinforced concerns that BPA could contribute to breast cancer in women.

  • BPA has been linked to an array of serious reproductive disorders in both men and women, and is found in the bodies of most human beings.  BPA studies have linked it to a wide range of adverse health affects, including a heightened risk of various cancers, reproductive abnormalities, diabetes and heart disease. 

    BPA was tested in nearly 200 cans of food.  BPA was found in 67% of the cans tested.  It was in 100% of Campbell’s soup cans, 75% of Del Monte cans, and 50% of General Mill’s Progresso cans.
BPA is a chemical in plastic which is used in containers and food can liners.  It is used to prevent corrosion of the can and movement of the can’s metal into the food.  (source: FDA)

Evidence shows that BPA affects the endocrine system, raises the risk of cancer, brain damage, hormonal problems, issues in developing fetuses and children, and more. 

What consumers can do:

  1. Look for BPA-free labels
  2. Cut back on canned food
  3. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers.  Glass is the oldest and best-known safe container.
  4. Check for #7 on plastic (which is an indicator that BPA is probably used in that bottle) 
(Sources:  “A Can of Trouble?” by Rebecca Lee and Dr. David Agus, CBS News, April 11, 2016; “Buyer Beware: Toxic BPA and regrettable substitutes found in the linings of canned food”; Mayo Clinic/FDA)
What You Can Do

There are things you can do to help minimize your exposure. 

  • Look online to find brands that are BPA-free, such as BPA-free baby bottles and plastic bottles. 

  • Choose fresh food over canned whenever possible, and choose food packaged in cardboard cartons. 

  • Discuss with your dentist the BPA-based dental sealants vs. 50% mercury amalgam fillings. 

  • For products which children drink a lot of, consider alternatives such as powdered infant formulas and bottled or boxed juice.

  • BPA is also found in plastic eyeglass lenses, coatings on cash register receipts, CD's, paints, medical equipment and toys.  (Sources:  Consumer Reports 2009 study, AP, Green Guide, BPA Global Group , U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Dental Association)   In addition, view the Consumer Reports study at 
Additional Resources

Protecting Consumers - Keep your family Safe.
Consumer products and Medical dangers.
Defective, unsafe, or harmful goods or products…
Baby/children products, drugs, medical devices,
household chemicals, televisions, furniture, gun safety....  

Dangerous Toy List.  View this list and a toy safety report every Christmas at http://uspirg.org/issues/toy-safety  (U. S. Public Interest Group).  

Fischer-Price and Mattel toys.  Toys with lead paint hazard can be viewed at http://service.mattel.com/us/recall.asp 

Healthy Toys.  View a list of hundreds of toys tested for lead, arsenic, mercury, bromine, cadmium, etc. at   http://healthytoys.org.  Babies and young children are the most vulnerable populations because their brains and bodies are still developing, and because they frequently put toys into their mouths. 

Toxic Chemicals.
  View information in the state of Washington:
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  View products that could be harmful to children and families (from toys to chairs and drinking glasses), at http://cpsc.gov/.   Parents may also sign up to receive email alerts from this agency.   1-800-638-2772.  
Washington State Dept. of Health